In This Issue:
- Sovaldi Pricing Lower in Canada
- Implementation of the Affordable Care Act
- Other Federal Regulatory Initiatives
- Other Congressional and State Initiatives
- Other Health Care News
- Upcoming Hearings and Markups
- Excerpt from Sovaldi Pricing Lower in Canada:
Under pressure from Health Canada, Canada’s health system regulator, Gilead is offering the Hepatitis C drug, the pricing of which has drawn the attention of US regulators and lawmakers, to Canadian patients for significantly less than in the United States. The Canadian Hepatitis C Education and Prevention Society announced that a 12-week course of the treatment could be $55,000. This, compared to the $84,000 price tag for the same treatment course in the U.S., constitutes approximately a 40 percent discount for Health Canada. This move reflects an effort by Health Canada to lower prices compared to the US market across their health system. In addition to likely continuing to fuel the focus of US lawmakers and regulators on the pricing of Sovaldi, the decision by Gilead could also rekindle discussions of importation of drugs to the US, fake prescription websites, and other controversies. Just last week, Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Ron Wyden (D-OR) was joined by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on a letter to the CEO of Gilead, asking for data that justified the high price for the drug. This marked the first time that the new Finance committee chairman has weighed in on the issue and a sign that policymakers will be watching even more closely as utilization and cost data continue to be reported for this next quarter.
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