Express Scripts to Cover AbbVie Hepatitis C Drug, Drops Gilead Treatment

The largest U.S. pharmacy benefit manager has lined up a cheaper price from AbbVie Inc (ABBV) on its newly approved hepatitis C treatment and, in most cases, will no longer cover Gilead Sciences Inc (GILD) treatments, Express Scripts said on Monday.

Shares in Gilead dropped 11 percent or about $12 in Monday morning trading to $96.23. A Gilead spokeswoman did not comment when asked about the potential impact on the company but said the company has been negotiating with Express Scripts.

Express Scripts has opposed the $84,000 pricetag of Gilead Sciences' Sovaldi treatment since it was approved a year ago, saying that was unaffordable. The $1,000-a-day pill opened a national debate about drug prices and increased insurer pressure on drug makers to cut prices.

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