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$1,000 hepatitis pill shows why fixing health costs is so hard

The New York Times, August 4, 2014

A new drug for the liver disease hepatitis C is scaring people. Not because the drug is dangerous — it's generally heralded as a genuine medical breakthrough — but because it costs $1,000 a pill and about $84,000 for a typical person's total treatment. A Washington advocacy effort has sprung up overnight, largely devoted to objecting to the cost of this one medication, Sovaldi. Members of Congress have started a joint investigation into how its maker, Gilead Sciences, settled on its price. "Clearly, $1,000 a pill strikes people as completely unreasonable," said John Rother, president of the National Coalition on Health Care, an advocacy group that has been raising an outcry about the drug's price as "unsustainable."