Costly, New Hep C Drugs Pose Dilemma For Prisons
The Constitution guarantees prisoners the same medical care that's standard in the community, reports NPR. The trouble is, that standard of care changed practically overnight for those with hepatitis C, which is more common among inmates than among the general public. Meanwhile, Bloomberg News examines the market fallout of the deal between Express Scripts and AbbVie.
Costly Hepatitis C Drugs Threaten To Bust Prison Budgets
Drug maker AbbVie won FDA approval ... for a new hepatitis C treatment that combines several drugs and can cure the disease in a matter of weeks or a few months. The news caps a year of medical milestones for the estimated 3.2 million Americans (including 12 to 35 percent of prisoners) who are chronically infected with this viral liver disease. Yet most of the hepatitis C drugs to hit the market this year cost tens of thousands of dollars. That puts them out of reach for many inmates and threatens to break prison health care budgets. (Gourlay, 12/24)
Biotech Investors Bail Out After Gilead Drug Price Fight
The biotechnology sector is having its worst day since April as investors fear health insurers and companies that manage patient’s drug benefits will put new pressure on how much the industry can charge for breakthrough treatments. The selloff, prompted by Express Scripts Holding Co.'s announcement yesterday that it would block its U.S. patients from getting Gilead Sciences Inc.’s $1,100-a-pill hepatitis C medicine, sent the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index down 4.6 percent, the biggest one-day drop since April. (Chen, 12/23)