Gilead's (NASDAQ:GILD) Sovaldi is reportedly flying off the shelves, but bad press due to pushback from payers, members of Congress, and even the WHO continues to roll in. At issue is the high price of Sovaldi in the U.S. -- $84,000 for a full course of treatment (or roughly $1,000 per day).
As reported by Reuters, Gilead is in talks with Indian generic manufacturers, including perhaps Mylan's (NASDAQ:MYL) Indian subsidiary, to offer Sovaldi at a discount in some international markets, as the U.S. list price is unworkable in a lot of the developing world. Of course, many U.S. payers, including Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) would argue (and have argued) that the list price is unworkable here too.
The latest bad press comes from Express Scripts, whose CMO Steven Miller stated in no uncertain terms that "What [Gilead's management] have done with this particular drug will break the country." Express Scripts is looking to convince a group of its clients to agree not to use Sovaldi once a competitor drug (expected from AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) in early 2015) comes on the market. Could this trigger a price war between Gilead and AbbVie, especially once other potential competitors come to market?
In this segment from Tuesday's Market Checkup, Motley Fool health care analysts David Williamson and Michael Douglass discuss these developments and consider whether a price war is on the horizon.
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David Williamson owns shares of AbbVie and Express Scripts. Michael Douglass has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Express Scripts and Gilead Sciences. The Motley Fool owns shares of Express Scripts. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.