Why Gilead's hep C scripts are slowing down in Q3
- For the week ending Aug. 14, new prescriptions of Gilead's hep C superstars Sovaldi and Harvoni were 3,296, down 1% week-over-week.
- For the same week, total prescriptions for Sovaldi and Harvoni combined were 9,375—a 2% drop.
- RBC Capital analysts Michael Yee and Adnan Butt see the trend of decreasing Sovaldi and Harvoni sales continuing, foretelling lower Q3 sales for Gilead.
What's driving this downward trend? Mainly, a restrictive payers' environment, wherein major benefits managers such as Express Scripts have been opting for alternate drugs at cheaper prices. State Medicaid agencies have also been fighting back against the high costs of Gilead's medications, which ring in at $1,000 per pill.
But Gilead isn't too worried. In fact, the company foresees a loosening of the currently restrictive environment, as budgets increase and the availability of compelling real-world data validates the use of hep C drugs like Sovaldi and Harvoni as a way to improve patient outcomes and decrease long-term costs associated with untreated or improperly treated hepatitis C.
Overall, Gilead is expecting $17.5 billion in sales for its hep C drugs in 2015.