Breakthrough or backbreaking?

On the trail of Gilead’s $1000-pill

You have at least 8-10 million people with Hepatitis C in India; you are leaving behind 10-15% difficult-to-treat patients, and you have new infections of this silent killer every year. Yet you can eradicate it, like Polio. Because there’s a drug. So, what’s next?

Sovaldi-1920x928.jpg

Every once in a while comes a discovery that brings about a seismic change. And every once in a while, also comes a  business decision that enhances the seismic effect. One such discovery was the drug sofosbuvir, approved in late 2013 by the US regulator for treating Hepatitis C. It was the first time a drug could ‘cure’ this deadly, but silent, viral infection. Gilead Sciences sized up the windfall and priced it at $1000 a pill, the total treatment tab amounting to $90,000. The whiplash against the offensively high pricing was global but in India, the…

To access this content, you must purchase Quarterly, or log in if you are a member.

Sign up to read this story
for free right away

Stories on The Ken are available only for its subscribers. This story is shared with you for free, just sign up to get instant access.

Have an account?

Related stories

More stories in /Healthcare & /Reportage

See all in Healthcare & Reportage

Sign up for free to read this story right now. Sign up for free

Sign up to read this story for free right away

Stories on The Ken are available only for its subscribers. This story is shared with you for free, just sign up to get instant access.

Why should I pay for reading your stories?

Lots of effort We go to lengths to put in time and resources required to get the most factual, honest stories out there.

Advertising independent Our primary allegiance will always be to our readers. We won't be swayed by our advertisers and investors.

We can't do all of this by giving away our journalism for free and selling our readers by the thousands to advertisers.

Get premium access