CVS Health: Harvoni being prescribed at 2.5 times the rate of Sovaldi
- The Washington Post's Jason Millman flagged a new report from CVS Health, the second-largest pharmacy benefits managers in the United States with 65 million members, finding that Harvoni prescription rates during the first eight weeks after its launch are outpacing the number of Sovaldi prescriptions issued eight weeks after that drug's launch by 2.5 times.
- There's been plenty of controversy surrounding the high prices of the Gilead hep C medications. Just last week, the Philadelphia Transit Authority launched a class action lawsuit against Gilead over Sovaldi's cost. Others defend the price as justified considering the drug's stellar response rate and the fact that it can cure a chronic condition that might otherwise lead to much more expensive medical costs down the road.
- Sovaldi sales declined from $3.5 billion in Q2 2014 to $2.8 billion in Q3.
This chart from the CVS Health report says it all, underscoring just how quickly doctors have been prescribing Harvoni, which hep C patients can take without supplementing their regimens with interferon injections:
The bottom line: Get ready for a massive sales report from Gilead in January, as well as more pricing controversy.