- The Philadelphia Transportation Authority has sued Gilead over the $84,000 price tag for the cost of Sovaldi (sofosbuvir), a 12-week, oral treatment for hepatitis C that has been hailed as a cure.
- The lawsuit contends that the price of Sovaldi is not based on any objective reality and that many government programs and countries other than the U.S. receive discounted prices—a practice that the agency calls "discriminatory."
- So far this year, the Philadelphia transit agency has paid out $2.4 million for Sovaldi, which it says has caused harm to its budget and fiscal stability.
The Philly agency is correct about Sovaldi's prices in other markets. For example, a 12-week course of Sovaldi costs $900 in Egypt, $57,000 in the U.K. and $66,000 in Germany.
Meanwhile, certain payers in the U.S. have denied access to patients because of the cost. If the transportation authority succeeds in this suit, it will set a precedent that could pave the way for lawsuits from other payers in the U.S.