Protest Over $1,000 Per Pill Price of New Hepatitis C Drug

Protestors (L to R): Post reporter Jesse Brooks; Orlando Chavez, activist group coordinator of Oasis Clinic, Oakland); Regina Dotson, Anita Schools; Bill Ladd; Jacynthia Givens, Sister Care group; Henry Banks; Daniel Bates; Peter Howe, Oasis Clinic: and Derrick Wallace.

Protestors (L to R): Post reporter Jesse Brooks; Orlando Chavez, activist group coordinator of Oasis Clinic, Oakland); Regina Dotson, Anita Schools; Bill Ladd; Jacynthia Givens, Sister Care group; Henry Banks; Daniel Bates; Peter Howe, Oasis Clinic: and Derrick Wallace.

By Post Staff

Outraged over the price of Solvaldi, Gilead Sciences’ new Hepatitis C drug, approved Jan. 10 by the FDA, the AIDS Health Foundation (AHF), the nation’s largest HIV/AIDS non-profit medical provider, staged a protest outside the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, where the pharmaceutical company’s president was making a presentation at the 32ndAnnual JP Morgan Health Care Conference. Gilead set the price of the new drug at $84,000 wholesale for a 12-week supply of the drug — $1,000 per pill.

AHF is calling on officials who purchase drugs for government programs like Medicaid, Medicare and the AIDS Drug Assistance Programs, to act decisively to rein in pricing and protect patient access to these lifesaving medications.

The drug is one component of a two-drug, 12-week combination treatment for Hepatitis C that can cure over 90 percent of patients and is more tolerable than previous harsh treatments.

Hepatitis C affects an estimated 3.2 million people in the U.S.

Courtesy of the Post News Group, January 17, 2014 (www.postnewsgroup.com)