Thursday, April 24, 2014

HEALTH - Big-Pharma Ransoms New Hepatitis-C Drug

More Big-Pharma holding your heath hostage for a huge ransom.  Pay big or die!  Legalized crime.

"New Hepatitis-C drug raises hope at a hefty price" PBS NewsHour 4/23/2014


SUMMARY:  A new drug has a 90 to 100 percent chance of curing the Hepatitis-C virus, but costs tens of thousands of dollars for a course of treatment.  The announcement by the manufacturer that it earned more than $2 billion in the year’s first quarter raises the question, who should pay when drugs are highly effective, but extremely expensive?  Hari Sreenivasan reports on the profits, coverage and costs.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  ....Who should pay when drugs are very effective, but extremely expensive?

That’s an important question for the U.S. health care system as new treatments come along, and it’s a matter of real concern over a new drug that has a 90 percent to 100 percent chance of curing the Hepatitis-C virus.  Its manufacturer announced record sales yesterday of more than $2 billion in just the first quarter of the year.

Profits, coverage and costs are all at issue, as Hari Sreenivasan reports.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):   Kim Bossley knows how fragile life can be.   In 2005, Bossley was diagnosed with Hepatitis-C, a blood-borne virus that can destroy the body’s liver.

KIM BOSSLEY:  I went from stage one to stage four, decomposed liver, very quickly.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  News of her rapidly declining health was devastating for the 46-year-old mother of two.

KIM BOSSLEY:  You fall into a depression when you’re diagnosed with Hep-C.  Your own mortality rate hits you.

DR. GREGORY T. EVERSON, University of Colorado Hospital:  That’s a pretty good response.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  This fall, after nine years of battling the virus, Kim Bossley was accepted into a treatment trial with a new drug called Sovaldi.

DR. GREGORY T. EVERSON:  So, Kim, we will check your labs here.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Almost immediately after taking Sovaldi, the Hepatitis-C virus disappeared.

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