While it’s encouraging that a new class of prescription medications can cure hepatitis C, the high prices of the drugs are creating a quandary for healthcare stakeholders. The first new drug, sofosbuvir, earned FDA approval in late 2013 and carried a price tag of $84,000 for a course of treatment.
“I wish drug companies would lower their prices. And they are starting to do that,” says Neil A. Capretto, DO, medical director of Gateway Behavioral Health, based in Pennsylvania. “But the cost of this is just in a league of its own.”
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates, there are as many as 7 million cases of chronic hepatitis C in the United States. Less than 25 percent of new cases clear on their own, and the other 75 percent or more become chronic and require treatment to help avoid liver disease.
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