Gilead Sciences Inc. announced that it would begin selling generic versions of the company’s two leading treatments for hepatitis C at substantially reduced prices. The generic versions of Epclusa and Harvoni will be available starting in January 2019 at a list price of approximately $24,000 per course of treatment and will be sold through a newly created subsidiary, Asegua Therapeutics, LLC. This is a dramatic decrease from Harvoni’s initial list price of over $1,000 per pill ($94,500 per treatment), which caused widespread debate over the price of pharmaceuticals and led to an 18-month Senate Finance Committee investigation into Gilead’s pricing and marketing strategies.
According to Gilead, since their first hepatitis C medication was released in 2013, the average list price for hepatitis C drugs has decreased by more than 60 percent. However, Gilead states that “the complexity and structure of the U.S. healthcare system” may have prevented patients from receiving the benefit of these lower prices. The company states that it hopes that launching generic versions of these drugs will ultimately lower the list prices for the Epclusa and Harvoni.