Kaiser adds to payer ire over Sovaldi price

Kaiser Permanente, the big HMO, is swallowing the cost of Gilead's hepatitis C treatment Sovaldi, but is angry about the $84,000 cost.

“It's an outrageous price for a therapy that has huge public health implications,” associate director of the Permanente Medical Group Sharon Levine tells Reuters. Levine says that the medication will be what Reuters described as a “material portion of its drug budget,” even with a discounted rate.

The drugmaker has been criticized by lawmakers and others, but this is not new territory for Gilead. The company has also been grilled over the cost of its Stribild HIV medication, among others.

Gilead has claimed that Sovaldi's high price trades short-term financial burden for long-term savings by helping patients avoid later expenses, such as those associated with liver failure.

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