Amid healthy sales and bountiful approvals, a pricing conundrum impedes patient access to medicines in 2014
Within a week of publication of C&EN’s 2013 Pharmaceutical
Year in Review, a new drug called Sovaldi was introduced. Like others
before, it came with a backstory and kicked off a new adventure for the
firm that developed it and the patients, physicians, and payers that
populate the market. In the case of Sovaldi, a highly effective
treatment for hepatitis C, the narrative illuminates the key issues and
dilemmas characterizing the drug industry in 2014.
The active ingredient in Sovaldi, sofosbuvir, was discovered by
Pharmasset, a Princeton, N.J.-based biotech firm with fewer than 100
employees. Seeing potential, Gilead Sciences
acquired Pharmasset in 2011 for a surprising $11 billion. The bet,
although big, has already paid off: Sovaldi sales were $8.5 billion in
the first nine months of this year.
For Gilead, a fast-growing drug company with a portfolio of
successful therapies in areas such as HIV/AIDS and oncology, Sovaldi
exemplified the kind of product most highly prized in drug discovery and
development: one that has a novel and positive impact on an intractable
Read more of this interesting review of the year in pharmaceuticals here....
Labels: pharmaceuticals, pricing, Sovaldi, strategies, year in review