- It cures hepatitis C pretty darn reliably
- The company that developed it charges something like $100,000 for a treatment regimen.
- All but about $300 of that cost goes to cover Research and Development costs, and profit for the company.
Fortunately, there is a solution here that literally makes everybody happy. The government (the folks that pay for a TON of Hep C treatment already) offers the patent holder a big chunk of cash for the drug patent, and then immediately places it in the public domain. Here are the advantages:
- The drug company is happy, because they get to take their profit for the drug right away.
- Americans with Hepatitis are happy, because they no longer have Hepatitis.
- Overall cost of healthcare in the country goes down, because fewer people have liver cancer and cirrhosis.
notes on the actual costs associated:
Total value of Gilead (owner of Sofosbuvir patents) ~150 Billion, as of this writing
They have a pretty big portfolio of drugs, so lets guess that the value of the sofosbuvir patents is about half their value as a company, or about 75 Billion.
Number of people with Hep C in the USA is roughly 2.7 Million
If the government paid 75 Billion to buy the patent and make it public domain, the cost works out to about $28,000 per cure.
Seriously, this is a no-brainer. We can more or less cure Hep C in America for $28,000 per cure, which doesn't even count the benefit of basically eliminating future infections. The only catch is that it requires big government intervention.