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Prices of new hepatitis C drugs are tough to swallow for insurers
Prices of new hepatitis C drugs are tough to swallow for insurers

A pair of new drugs to treat hepatitis C offer a cure for millions of Americans afflicted with the disease — but at a potentially staggering cost to taxpayers and health plans. Until now, therapies for hepatitis C helped only about half of patients and posed numerous side effects, such as flu-like symptoms, anemia or depression. In comparison, clinical trials of Sovaldi and Olysio have shown cure rates of 80% to 90% with far fewer complications. That progress, though, comes at a price. A 12-week course of Sovaldi can cost $84,000, or about $1,000 a pill, and some patients may require two courses. Treatment with Olysio runs more than $66,000. Using either one, many patients...

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