HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C Advocacy Groups Criticize Hoffman-LaRoche’s Pricing of Hepatitis C Drug Pegasys
HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C advocacy groups last week drafted a letter to Hoffmann-La Roche criticizing the company for the high cost of its new hepatitis C medication, the Newark Star-Ledger reports. The advocates, who have met with Hoffman-LaRoche executives "numerous" times over the past few years to discuss treatment issues, including pricing, said that charging nearly $14,000 per year for Pegasys, which was approved by the FDA last month, was an act of "betrayal." The advocates in the letter "threatened" to attract congressional and media attention to the issue. Schering-Plough, which manufactures the pegylated interferon Peg-Intron, was also "widely criticized" by advocates for the pricing of its drug, which costs $850 less annually than Pegasys. Hoffman-LaRoche spokesperson Charles Alfaro said that the company had not yet received the letter and therefore could not comment on its contents. He added that Pegasys is "priced competitively." Some of the groups that signed the letter include Project Inform, the Hepatitis C Action & Advocacy Coalition, AIDS Treatment Data Network and the Treatment Action Group (Silverman, Newark Star-Ledger, 11/8).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.