Reuters Health Information: Gilead hepatitis C drug Sovaldi racks up $3.5 bln in quarter
Gilead hepatitis C drug Sovaldi racks up $3.5 bln in quarter
Last Updated: 2014-07-23
By Bill Berkrot
(Reuters) - Gilead Sciences Inc said on Wednesday that its
new hepatitis C drug Sovaldi had sales of $3.5 billion in the
second quarter, exceeding Wall Street estimates and
demonstrating that the furor over its price has not curtailed
Analysts had been forecasting Sovaldi sales of about $2.6 to
$2.9 billion for the quarter.
In its first two industry record shattering full quarters on
the market, Sovaldi has racked up about $5.8 billion in sales
despite reports that thousands of patients are still waiting in
the wings for Gilead's two drugs in one pill, once a day
combination treatment expected to gain U.S. approval this year.
Since its December launch, Sovaldi has been prescribed for
more than 80,000 patients in the United States and Europe, the
Sovaldi has been a lightning rod for a fierce debate over
prescription drug prices. Its $84,000 cost for a 12-week course
of treatment that works out to $1,000 per pill has caused
concerns that high demand will place a huge burden on
government-run health plans and private health insurers.
Gilead has argued that the Sovaldi price is comparable to
older treatment options that require longer treatment duration
with far lower cure rates and nasty side effects than its
Gilead, which had not included Sovaldi sales in prior
full-year forecasts, updated its outlook to include the impact
of the new medicine. It now expects 2014 revenue of $21 billion
to $23 billion. Without Sovaldi, it had forecast sales of $11.3
billion to $11.5 billion.