Gilead Sciences is planning to launch authorised generic versions of its chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatments in the US through a newly created subsidiary, Asegua Therapeutics.
The authorised generics of Epclusa and Harvoni will launch at a list price of $24,000 for the most common course of therapy and will be available in January 2019.
Since the launch of Gilead’s first HCV medication in 2013, the average price paid for each bottle of medicine in the US has decreased by more than 60% off of the public list prices, across health insurers and government payers.
Due to the complexity and structure of the US healthcare system, however, these discounts provided by Gilead may not always translate into lower costs for patients.
Further, existing contracts, together with laws associated with government pricing policies, make it challenging to quickly lower a product’s list price once it is on the market.
Gilead said the generics are priced to more closely reflect the discounts that health insurers and government payers receive today. Insurers will have the choice of offering either the authorised generics or the branded medications for both Epclusa and Harvoni.
“Launching these authorised generics is the best solution available to us today to quickly introduce a lower-priced alternative to our HCV medications without significant disruption to the healthcare system and our business,” said John F. Milligan, President and CEO of Gilead Sciences.
“This launch also will hopefully help increase transparency by more closely aligning our medications’ list prices with their cost.
“Our ultimate goal is to lower the list price of Epclusa – a medication we believe is of great importance given its clinical profile across genotypes – and Harvoni.”