Official numbers are out. In 2015, the global sales of three Hep C blockbusters (Harvoni, Sovaldi and Viekira pak) reached almost $21 Billion. While this is a record, the peak sales are estimated to be more than $34 Billion.
While payers have acknowledged that these drugs are cost effective (even UK’s NICE has said Sovaldi is cost effective), the challenge is near term budget impact. These drugs have sparked policy discussions and questions, including a recent article on access to HCV drugs for US Veterans.
2016 will be an interesting year as another bunch of new HCV drugs will be reaching the market (with similar efficacy and safety). We already saw the news that Merck has priced its new HCV drug at 30% discount compared to Gilead (Good news for payers and patients!). Hopefully these drugs with high cure rates will be accessible to all 170 million people worldwide who are infected with different genotypes of this virus.