WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan investigation by U.S. senators finds that the makers of a breakthrough drug for hepatitis C infection put profits before patients in pricing the $1,000-per-pill cure.
The report released Tuesday by the Senate Finance Committee concludes that California-based Gilead Sciences was focused on maximizing revenue even as its own analysis showed a lower price would allow more patients to be treated for the liver-wasting disease.
Gilead’s first breakthrough pill was called Sovaldi. The company now has a more expensive next-generation pill called Harvoni.
Sens. Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, and Chuck Grassley, Republican of Iowa, said their 18-month investigation found that the high price tag significantly limited patient access and heaped huge costs on federal and state health care programs.
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