Gilead Sciences Inc said on Monday it plans to launch generic versions of its hepatitis C drugs in the United States, at a time when regulators are looking to lower healthcare costs.
The drugmaker’s generic version of drugs such as Harvoni and Epclusa, which raked in combined sales of $831 million in the quarter ended June 30, will be launched via a newly created subsidiary Asegua Therapeutics LLC.
Gilead said the low-cost variants of the drugs will be available at a list price of $24,000 for the most common course of therapy from January.
While this move should be applauded, let’s not kid ourselves. It was the launch of Mavyret which has driven the manufacturing of the generic (biosimilar) versions for Harvoni and Epclusa. Competition and sophisticated purchasers drive lasting change in Rx cost containment.
U.S. healthcare companies, ranging from insurers to drug retailers, are stepping up efforts to combat rising drug prices that have been widely criticized by regulators.