NEWS OF THE WEIRD

Perspective

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Three million Americans are infected with hepatitis C (as are millions more overseas), but a very recent drug, Sovaldi, completely cures it with 84 daily doses. However, its manufacturer, Gilead Sciences, has somehow determined that a fair U.S. price for the drug should be $1,000 per pill ($84,000 for the total treatment). In December, an NPR reporter asked if Gilead should reduce the price once it has recouped its expensive investment. "That's very unlikely we would do that," said Gilead's Gregg Alton, but "I appreciate the thought." According to NPR, Gilead "developed" Sovaldi merely by buying Sovaldi's actual developer for $11 billion. At $84,000 per patient, Gilead would "recoup" that investment from the first 150,000 customers, leaving 2.85 million more U.S. patients to pay $84,000 each, for an income of $239 billion.

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