What is Harvoni
Many year before only few medication available for cure hepatitis c like interferons and ribavirin. Theses type medication were not effective and come with serious side effect.
The FDA approve harvoni in 2014 to treat hepatitis c genotype 1 in oral treatment regimen.
Harvoni is made of combination of ledipasvir and sofosbuvir.
Harvoni is direct acting antiviral that prevent hepatitis c virus from multiplying. Harvoni is used to prevent hepatitis c genotype 1, 4, 5 and 6.
Cure ratio of harvoni is 99% in regimen of 12 week.
No vaccine yet to available for to prevent hepatitis c, but now a year oral treatment available for cure hepatitis c in most of people. Theses new drugs cost is too high, high cost of hepatitis c treatment make difficult to pay for patient.
Cost of hepatitis C treatment is very high this may cause financial trouble for patients and a bad effect on the health care system. $1120 USD per pill is a very very high cost for normal people who have family and responsibility. But some people justify that cost because the treatment cure rate on harvoni is 95%.
And Insurance company denied the claim of the early-stage patient for getting treatment of harvoni medicine. A lawsuit has been filled for this problem against the insurance company.
Nowadays the government is trying to make a law that will help all hepatitis C patient who needs treatment. But lawmaker failed to this affordable treatment for the patient.
US FDA approved sovaldi (Sofosbuvir) in 2013 for hepatitis C treatment. Sovaldi was first safe drug to prevent hep c virus from the body without more side effect. It was also first treatment with 95% cure rate.
Any previous treatment is not much best than sovaldi. Because of that sovaldi is best selling medicine of Gilead science. The high cost of sovaldi is $1000 USD per pill so cost of full treatment of hep c is $84000 USD.
American company Gilead science than introduce new drugs with a combination with ledipasvir with sofosbuvir called “Harvoni”. one tablet cost of harvoni is $1120 USD. So the total cost for treatment is $100800 USD.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) only in USA, 3.5 million people have HCV virus. If all people have this virus get treatment than the cost of total treatment is $331 Billion Dollar which is more than the total drugs spend in the year of 2013.
Usually, specialty drugs treat a small number of patient. But Hepatitis C treat a large number of patient that is an opportunity for Gilead science to make more profit.
Interestingly, Cost of harvoni is only $900 USD in Egypt and $1200 USD in India and $55000 USD in Canada means less than America. Some lawmaker accuses Gilead science of price gauging of harvoni and limiting of effective treatment of hepatitis C.
Medicaid beneficiary also may not have equal treatment for hep C. According to US Senator in some state 9% Medicaid enrolee cover for hepatitis C treatment and in some state only 1% cover.
Medicaid is unable to cover hep c treatment for all enrolee as 1 enrolee hep c treatment cost is equal to the annual health cost of 29 enrollees. This may be a strong reason for the need of cheap hep c treatment.
Public and private both insured have to create eligibility which covers all liver damage patient and also who have not treated yet because of the right of hep c treatment. Department of Veterans Affairs also announces they will cover all hep c suffer veterans in treatment.