The Market Will Demand a Cheaper Alternative to Sovaldi

July 30, 2014
The Pharm Exec staff

Pharmaceutical Executive

A new report from Frost & Sullivan forecasts “robust demand” for HCV antivirals, with several strong competitors “maneuvering aggressively” to narrow the market gap by introducing a treatment that can outdo Gilead’s Sovaldi.

A new report from Frost & Sullivan forecasts “robust demand” for HCV antivirals, with several strong competitors “maneuvering aggressively” to narrow the market gap by introducing a treatment that can outdo Gilead’s Sovaldi.

But as the market moves away from protease inhibitors and interferon regimens towards highly effective, easily-tolerated, oral therapies, competitors must aim to satisfy the until-now unmet need for a once-daily, ribavirin-free, all-oral, pan-genotypic regimen that has a short treatment duration, says the report.

Around 160 million people across the globe are chronically infected with HCV, and at least 350,000 die annually from HC-infected liver diseases such as liver cancer and conditions requiring transplantation. The United States alone accounts for nearly five million of the total HCV-affected population, with the majority being baby boomers entering the 65-plus age bracket.

Recent clinical data shows close to 100-percent cure rates for Sovaldi. But its price – $84,000 for a 12-week course of treatment – has attracted much controversy.

Frost & Sullivan Healthcare Principal Analyst Randy Budros comments: “Gilead and other future market entrants have to create a compelling pricing rationale by driving home the potential cost savings from a high-performance, all-oral regime, zeroing in on the downstream cost saving such as the reduction of liver transplants… Equally crucial is the need to make HCV antivirals more affordable and accessible to patients.”

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