Costly New Hepatitis Drugs Vex Prisons - (The Wall Street Journal via NewsPoints Desk)

  • The Wall Street Journal reported that the high price of new hepatitis C drugs, including Gilead's Sovaldi and Johnson & Johnson's Olysio, is limiting the ability to treat the disease in US prisons.
  • In February, the Federal Bureau of Prisons bureau started making Sovaldi and Olysio available to inmates.
  • Meanwhile, state prison systems have taken various approaches with these two drugs.
  • While, the Federal Bureau of Prisons receives a 44-percent discount on Sovaldi and Olysio through a US Department of Veterans Affairs programme, state prison systems generally do not have access to these discounts, according to the news source.
  • Johnson & Johnson is reportedly having discussions with prison systems to negotiate a price for Olysio.
  • A spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons noted that spending on hepatitis C drugs more than doubled to $4.4 million in 2012 from 2011, partly because of the cost of protease inhibitors.

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