AbbVie Deal Heralds Changed Landscape for Hepatitis Drugs

In a sign that price competition may take hold for hepatitis C drugs, the nation’s largest manager of prescriptions will require all patients to use AbbVie’s newly approved treatment rather than two widely used medicines from its rival Gilead Sciences.

The pharmacy benefit manager, Express Scripts, said it had negotiated a significant discount from AbbVie in exchange for making the drugmaker’s treatment, Viekira Pak, the exclusive option for 25 million people. Express Scripts also said it would allow all people with hepatitis C to be treated with AbbVie’s drug, not only those with more serious liver damage.

“We really believe we want all patients treated,” Dr. Steve Miller, the chief medical officer of Express Scripts, said in an interview Sunday. He said that AbbVie had made that affordable by offering “a significant discount.”


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