Access to hepatitis C treatment could increase if the government purchased a manufacturer of the primary medication.
The U.S. government could cure most Americans suffering from hepatitis C infections if it simply bought drug maker Gilead Sciences on the stock market rather than purchasing its products in the drug market.
Gilead has drawn fire for the high price of its hepatitis C drugs, Sovaldi and Harvoni, which currently cost more than $500 per pill but cure the underlying hepatitis C liver infection. But, counterintuitively, buying Gilead outright on the open market could lower hepatitis C drug costs per patient to one-third their current level. That would make it affordable to rapidly treat the 2.7 million Americans the CDC estimates still have hepatitis C.
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