Largest US health insurer latest to give Harvoni preferred hep C drug status
- UnitedHealth, the America's largest health insurer, is giving Gilead's Harvoni (sofosbuvir/ledispavir) preferred status for all insured customers and self-insured customers who follow the drug list.
- Gilead and AbbVie have been battling for market share by striking discount deals with various pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and health insurance companies.
- UnitedHealth has 45 million medical customers, including 18 million who are employed by companies that self-insure.
The updated formulary status for Harvoni kicks in on February 1. This is a big win for Gilead, which has had both success and failure as it attempts to carve out market share.
Gilead was famously snubbed by PBM Express Scripts, which chose to go with AbbVie's Viekira Pak instead of Harvoni. Reportedly, the impact on pricing has been significant. But there's still not enough information to ascertain just how much payers, patients, and the U.S. health system at large is saving as a consequence of the discounts.