Sovaldi Drug Sales Could Reach $9B in First Year

Sovaldi, a newly approved drug to treat Hepatitis C, could see between $5 billion and $9 billion in sales during its first year on the market, one of the largest sales for a new drug's first year, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Fifteen weeks after its approval in Dec. 2013, approximately 7,100 prescriptions were written per week for Sovaldi, compared to approximately 2,270 prescriptions written per week 15 weeks after competitor Hepatitis C treatment drug Incivek was approved in 2011.

Peter Costa, a Wells Fargo Securities analyst, estimated Hepatitis C treatments will cost the 10 biggest publicly traded payers $798 million more than they did in 2013, according to the report.

Sovaldi recently made headlines calling attention to its hefty price tag, costing $1,000 per pill and $84,000 for a 12-week treatment.

Payers are feeling the strain of this drug, as it currently has no rivals, and it is experiencing optimal results, according to the report. The drug guarantees a 90 percent success rate for patients.

Rhonda Greenapple, a consultant for pharmaceutical companies seeking drug reimbursement, said in the report there is nothing for payers to do until more Hepatitis C treatments are approved and become available.  

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