Hepatitis drug would cost Missouri $1 billion, says Express Scripts

Courtesy of Creative Commons
Courtesy of Creative Commons

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.

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