A class action lawsuit has been filed against Gilead Sciences regarding the sale and pricing of sofosbuvir, according to a press release from the plaintiff’s law firm.
The lawsuit was filed in Philadelphia Federal Court by Chimicles & Tikellis of Haverford, Pennsylvania, on behalf of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), according to the release, and “seeks class action status on behalf of all persons and entities that have paid some or all of the purchase price of Sovaldi, and those who have been prevented from obtaining a needed Sovaldi regimen due to its excessive price.”
Sofosbuvir (Sovaldi, Gilead), the first drug approved by the FDA for non-injection treatment of certain kinds of hepatitis C virus infections, can reportedly cure an estimated 90 percent of patients infected with the most common strains of HCV in 3 to 6 months with minor side effects compared to previous treatment options, the release said. The manufacturer has been selling the drug in the United States for an estimated $1,000 per pill, or $84,000 for a 12-week regimen, which is significantly higher than original price projections and prices in other countries, the release said. For example, the company recently announced it would make the drug available at a significant discount in 91 developing countries—reportedly at 99% below U.S. pricing in Egypt. These pricing issues are being investigated by the Senate Finance Committee, the release said.
The filed complaint alleges that “Gilead’s exorbitant pricing scheme has the potential to bankrupt segments of the U.S. health care system,” and has priced “certain consumers and governments programs out of the Sovaldi market.” According to the release, the complaint cites reports that the U.S. pricing of the drug disproportionately affects low-income minorities with higher rates of HCV infection while Gilead reported $8.5 billion in sofosbuvir sales in the first three quarters of 2014. The complaint also cites unjust enrichment, violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act and Affordable Care Act, and breach of contract as causes of action, the release said.