Assessing the Long-Term Value of Hepatitis C Treatments

Assessing the Long-Term Value of Hepatitis C Treatments

07.25.14 | By Jennifer Wall

The current debate regarding the cost of new and forthcoming hepatitis C treatments has brought to light a long-standing discussion about the cost and value of innovative new medicines. Over the past few months, we’ve highlighted a number of key points as it relates to the cost and value discussion around hepatitis C, and today, PhRMA’s President and CEO John Castellani continued to add to the dialogue with an op-ed for CNN.John Castellani CNN op-ed

A few quotes:

  • “The parallels between HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C are remarkable -- and a reason for optimism.”
  •  “But for people all over the world with HIV/AIDS, the dawn of anti-retroviral medications in the mid-1990s transformed HIV/AIDS from near-certain death into a manageable chronic disease.”
  • “In the United States, the AIDS-related death rate has fallen by more than 80% since then, in large part because of advances in anti-retroviral therapy. Over the past 30 years, nearly 40 medicines have been approved to treat HIV/AIDS, and we now know that many of these medicines can also help prevent transmission of the disease as well.”
  • “PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that new medicines for hepatitis C will increase health care costs by just half a percent in 2014 and will level off after 2016 as patients are cured. This is particularly noteworthy given that public discussions have focused almost exclusively on the price of new medicines while ignoring the tremendous societal benefits…”
  • Although critics say the price of a promising new hepatitis C drug raises the cost of insurance, research from Milliman in 2009 projected that, without a cure for hepatitis C, annual U.S. medical costs associated with the disease will nearly triple over 20 years -- from $30 billion to $85 billion -- indicating that curing the disease can help reduce future medical costs.”
  • “…Simple economics will remind us that, while investments at first may seem challenging, the prescription drug life cycle, market forces and tenacious global competition can lead to lower prices and broad access over time.”

Go read the article and see what else John had to say.

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