Another feature on Gilead and the hope – and price – of its drugs, this time by Louise Osborne and Elke Opielka for Germany’s Deutsche Welle:
“Among the factors drug companies like Gilead blame for such high prices are development costs of such medications. But with increasingly high profits, it is becoming hard to justify such reasoning to a public with ever-waning patience.
Gilead acquired the rights to sofosbuvir, the active ingredient used in both Sovaldi and Harvoni, through its purchase of company Pharmasset for $11 billion in 2011. At the time, it was seen as a gamble, but it has already paid off, at least in part.
In the year since Gilead was granted approval for Sovaldi and later for Harvoni, its sales rose to $24.8 billion in 2014. Meanwhile, company profits soared to $12.1 billion, nearly four times as much as the year before. And in the first quarter of 2015 Harvoni brought sales of antiviral products up to $7 billion.“