Express Scripts Inc. is escalating its price war with Gilead Sciences Inc. in an effort to force the drug maker to cut the $84,000 price of its new hepatitis C pill. Express Scripts is planning to ask its clients — which include large national employers, insurance plans and government agencies — to join a coalition that would cease to use Gilead’s Solvadi medication once a rival medication is approved for use in the U.S., Bloomberg reports.
A rival medication is expected to receive U.S. approval next year. In December, Express Scripts said it might block the Solvadi pill from reimbursement if competing drug companies accept lower pricing. Solvadi costs $1,000 per pill, and a regular course of treatment includes one pill daily for 12 weeks.