Harvard Pilgrim Health Care has become the first regional health
insurer to negotiate a discount on a costly new hepatitis C drug regimen
that cures more than 90 percent of people with the virus but inflicts
steep financial losses on payers.
Under a one-year contract with
Gilead Sciences Inc., maker of the two-drug Harvoni treatment for the
liver-ravaging disease, Wellesley-based Harvard Pilgrim expects to save
about $10 million on reimbursements to doctors who treat hepatitis C
patients. The insurer didn’t disclose how much it will pay for the drug
after a rebate from Gilead.
Harvard Pilgrim followed the lead of national pharmacy benefit
managers such as CVS/Caremark and Express Scripts, which buy
prescription drugs in bulk. Taking advantage of a rival hepatitis C drug
combination from AbbVie Inc., those companies recently bargained with
both drug makers to secure rebates.
Labels: Gilead, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, insurance coverage