Bloomberg reporter Drew Armstrong has been doing some great reporting on the controversy surrounding Gilead Sciences (GILD - Get Report) and it's $1,000-a-day hepatitis C pill Sovaldi. The issues has definitely weighed some on Gilead's stock price recently. Armstrong published a new story today discussing how Medicaid providers were limiting access to Sovaldi because of its price.
The story prompted an excellent discussion between Armstrong and ISI Group analyst Mark Schoenebaum, who's been bullish on Gilead and the Sovaldi launch. Twitter makes it hard to follow long conversation threads, so I stitched it together below:
@ArmstrongDrew The cost of Incivek regimen in US is currently $100k. Your article excludes cost of peg/riba. Avg Victrelis cost is $80K.
Mark Schoenebaum (@MarkSchoenebaum) March 20, 2014
@ArmstrongDrew This is extraordinarily important. Not sure why the dialogue out there around prices for older regimens tends to be wrong.March 20, 2014
. @MarkSchoenebaum M'caid plan in PA told me they were paying about $70k for Sovaldi regimen, $40k for Inciv/Victrelis-based regimen.Drew Armstrong (@ArmstrongDrew) March 20, 2014
@MarkSchoenebaum We don't have great clarity on pricing among payers. Look at what m'caid pays vs commercial for victrelis. $40k difference.Drew Armstrong (@ArmstrongDrew) March 20, 2014
@ArmstrongDrew The difference in mcaid reflects the old age of peg/riba component. Old drugs have bigger mcaid discounts.Mark Schoenebaum (@MarkSchoenebaum) March 20, 2014
@MarkSchoenebaum Yeah, m'caid programs still getting same discount on peg-riba no matter what it's combined w/. And still a $40k difference.Drew Armstrong (@ArmstrongDrew) March 20, 2014
@ArmstrongDrew What percentage of the total Hep c market opportunity is Medicaid?Mark Schoenebaum (@MarkSchoenebaum) March 20, 2014
@MarkSchoenebaum Not sure but big. 35% of prison population, CDC says biases toward poor/minority (lotta medicaid) and young IV drug usersDrew Armstrong (@ArmstrongDrew) March 20, 2014
@ArmstrongDrew By the way. I think that this conversation was my true coming of age experience on Twitter :-) Am I now now a man?Mark Schoenebaum (@MarkSchoenebaum) March 20, 2014
Yes, Mark, you've earned your Twitter manhood badge today. Well done!
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