Federal regulators this month opened a new era in the treatment of a deadly liver virus that infects three to five times more people than HIV. Now the question is: Who will get access to the new drug for hepatitis C, and when?
The drug sofosbuvir (brand name Sovaldi) will cost $1,000 per pill. A typical course of treatment will last 12 weeks and run $84,000, plus the cost of necessary companion drugs. Some patients may need treatment for twice as long.
Hepatitis researchers call the drug a landmark in the treatment of this deadly infection. More than 90 percent of patients who get the new drug can expect to be cured of their hepatitis C infection, with few side effects.