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UK Says Sovaldi Is Worth It. We Should Listen. | Forbes

It’s rare that I get to say this – but we can learn something from the United Kingdom. As our “free-market” health care system deliberates whether Gilead is charging a “just” price for its Hepatitis C (HCV) drug, Sovaldi, the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) just approved the drug as being cost-effective, and recommended it for subgroups of patients.

The battle over Sovaldi – which costs $84,000 in the U.S. for a full course of treatment – has sparked not only outrage from insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), but also a Senate investigation into pricing of the drug. And earlier this year, the PBM Express Scripts ESRX +0.4% began a “fair drug pricing” coalition intended to shame Gilead Sciences GILD +1.38% (and ostensibly, other manufacturers with expensive drugs), with Steve Miller, Medical Director, writing that:

What [Gilead has] done with this particular drug will break the country…It will make pharmacy benefits no longer sustainable. Companies just aren’t going to be able to handle paying for this drug.

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UK Says Sovaldi Is Worth It. We Should Listen.

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