Historical Archive

Sovaldi boom in the USA, best-selling drug ever

Gilead Sciences' hepatitis C superdrug Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) makes a nine-figure debut in the United States. The Californian company has announced the sales results for the first quarter of 2014, which record a real record: 2.27 billion dollars in revenues. According to the experts of 'MedicalMarketingMedia', it is the medicine that has sold the most and fastest since it was launched, already doubling the excellent results obtained by the anti-cholesterol Lipitor, which made Pfizer cash in the first year of sales 856 million dollars in 1997 (equal to 1.2 billion dollars after inflation).

Another 'competitor' of the brand new therapy against HCV was Incivek (telaprevir) by Vertex, another antiviral. Launched in 2011, it had sales of $1.56 billion in its first year on the market. But Sovaldi, in his first quarter on the market, has already eclipsed him by over 500 million.  

Gilead, meanwhile, is reaping the benefits of its flagship product: total revenues for the first quarter of 2014 jump to $5 billion from $2.53 billion in the same period of 2013. Net income on a GAAP basis rises to $2.23 billion, or $1.33 per share, compared to $722.2 million, or $0.43 per share, in last year's first quarter.

However, the Foster City-based company has ensured that it is working on the problem of the very high cost of the product, also through pharmaco-economics research. And Sovaldi may not yet have expressed its full potential: according to the company, only half of the doctors "visited by our informants have prescribed the anti-HCV super-drug to date". And estimates speak of 1.7 million newly diagnosed with hepatitis C each year in the United States and about 400,000 patients currently being treated. Gilead President and Chief Operating Officer John Milligan said, "The value of this treatment is now underestimated in terms of long-term benefits to the healthcare system.

HCV costs a lot of money. This is a difficult but important discussion for doctors, payers and public health authorities to have." According to Norbert Bischofberger, Gilead executive vice president for R&D, the therapy should be considered "beyond just the HCV virus.

Articoli correlati

Back to top button
Fedaiisf Federazione delle Associazioni Italiane degli Informatori Scientifici del Farmaco e del Parafarmaco