The $78 Pill

October 10, 2012
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Gilead Sciences has set the wholesale price for its new once-a-day HIV/AIDS pill: It’s $28,500 a year. That works out to $78 per pill.

Earlier this year, the Clinton Foundation reported that it has secured generic drugs for delivering combination HIV/AIDS therapy in the developing world for $200 per year. Of course, that requires taking multiple pills several times a day, which makes compliance more difficult.

Gilead Sciences has set the wholesale price for its new once-a-day HIV/AIDS pill: It’s $28,500 a year. That works out to $78 per pill.

Earlier this year, the Clinton Foundation reported that it has secured generic drugs for delivering combination HIV/AIDS therapy in the developing world for $200 per year. Of course, that requires taking multiple pills several times a day, which makes compliance more difficult.

Gilead’s four-drug combo pill, taken just once a day, clearly is an innovation. But is it really 140 times more valuable than a generic approach? Perhaps the U.S. health care system should sign up for help from the Clinton Foundation.