Merck will stop selling Victrelis in the U.S. by the end of this year. The company cites "advances in treatment practices"--namely, the new all-oral drug cocktails offered by Gilead and AbbVie--and the shrinking demand they've caused.
The hepatitis C market is breaking new ground all over the place. As payers put the squeeze on Gilead Sciences and AbbVie for discounts in the U.S., England's National Health Service is delaying a broad rollout of Gilead's blockbuster Sovaldi till July, citing the drug's high cost--an unprecedented move on a treatment already blessed by the country's cost-effectiveness watchdogs.
AbbVie has won European Commission approval for its oral hepatitis C cocktail, offering some positive news after some disappointments for the U.S. drugmaker in recent months. It also sets the stage for the drugmaker to take its marketing battle with Gilead Sciences to another continent.
Gilead Sciences is gaining ground in its hep C pricing battle with AbbVie. One week after the drugmaker joined forces with Anthem to make Harvoni the primary option for the PBM's 30 million patients, Gilead inked similar deals with Humana and Harvard Pilgrim, edging out its competitor and raising the stakes in the companies' ongoing war.
Better late than never? Try better late than early for Prime Therapeutics, which has scored deals on both sets of hepatitis C drugs. As Bloomberg reports, Gilead Sciences and AbbVie each offered prices low enough to justify putting Harvoni and Viekira Pak on its preferred formulary.
Gilead is joining forces with Anthem, the biggest provider of health coverage to U.S. businesses, to make Harvoni the primary option for patients, setting the stage for a hep C showdown.
It's no secret that Express Scripts Chief Medical Officer Steve Miller is hankering for some changes in the pharma business. But what many may not know, he told PharmExec, is that he's got a four-point solution to fix what he sees as the industry's biggest problems.
Gilead's got a message for you, AbbVie: It's on. Just a couple of weeks after the Illinois drugmaker struck an exclusive hep C pact with PBM Express Scripts, Gilead has come back with a deal of its own.
If 2014 was the year of the emboldened U.S. payer, then 2015 promises to be the year of the pharma negotiator.
While studying the effects and causes of hepatitis C infection of the liver, a group of scientists at Aarhus University in Denmark say they discovered a key driver of the disease that could prove particularly effective in helping patients with hard-to-treat cases.