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?


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 post, you must purchase Monthly Recurring or Quarterly.

Read the full story. Subscribe for free.

Why subscribe? Let us explain.

Already Registered?

Related stories

More stories in /Healthcare & /Reportage

See all in Healthcare & Reportage

This story is for subscribers only.
Subscribe for free

Read the full story. Subscribe for free.

Why subscribe? Let us explain.


You will be automatically subscribed to our widely-acclaimed daily story emails. You can also unsubscribe any time.

Already Registered?


What is The Ken?

The Ken is a subscription-driven media site. We write one story a day (weekdays only). These stories have sharp, original insights on technology, business, science and healthcare from India.

Why do I have to sign up to read your stories?

Our stories are not free. Well, some select stories are. But, a significant part of what we write at The Ken is for subscribers only. We put in a lot of effort and resources in writing our stories and believe that you must pay for good journalism.
Hence, our three plans. 1) The annual membership
2) The free sign up
3) The recurring quarterly subscription

On journalism and why you should pay for it, if you haven’t already seen it, here’s a great explainer from John Oliver.

So, one must pay for journalism?


How many stories will I get if I take an annual membership?

200+ stories.

And, in the free sign up?

Four stories every month.

Do I get a refund?

We allow you to sample our journalism for free before signing up, and after you do, we stand by its quality. But we do not offer refunds.

I am not getting my daily emails. Do I have to whitelist emails from The Ken?

An added benefit of your subscription (free/paid) are the daily personalised emails. These emails, at times, might end up in your spam/junk folder due to emojis, attachments or images. In case you’re not receiving these emails, it might help to whitelist us. If the problem still persists, write to us at [email protected].

Why am I unable to access the archives?

Full and unrestricted access to our archives is a feature of our annual membership.

My payment is not going through, what can I do?

Please write to us at [email protected] detailing the payment error or queries.