A new hepatitis C drug could cripple state budgets, costing the country $55 billion to treat 750,000 people with government insurance, according to an analysis by Express Scripts. Missouri would need to pay out $1 billion to treat all of the state’s residents with hepatitis C who are either in prison or receive Medicaid benefits.
The drug, Sovaldi, costs $1,000 per pill or $84,000 for a 12-week regimen. The drug’s researchers at St. Louis University say the drug can eliminate the virus in up to 95 percent of patients.
St. Louis-based Express Scripts’ chief medical officer Steven Miller has led the opposition to the drug’s pricing by pharmaceutical company Gilead.