Gilead launches hepatitis drug in China at one-fifth the US price

Gilead Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company based in Foster City, Calif., launched its hepatitis C drug in China with a price tag significantly lower than in the U.S., according to Caixin Global.

 

Sovaldi, Gilead's oral inhibitor used to treat chronic hepatitis C, costs 58,980 yuan ($8,938) for a 12-week supply in China — which is only one-fifth of its current price in the U.S. market.

When Gilead's drug was first launched in the U.S. in 2013, it cost a widely-criticized $84,000 per 12-week course, which equates to $1,000 per pill. However, with increased competition and pressure from payers, Sovaldi's average price has decreased significantly to roughly $44,700 per course, according to the report.

The biopharmaceutical company has a history of cutting the price of Sovaldi when launching the drug in regions outside the U.S. For example, to sell in India, Gilead slashed the price from $1,000 per pill to roughly $4 per pill.

Gilead remains under pressure to export Sovaldi as sales of the hepatitis C drug have stagnated in the U.S., according to the report.

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