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Hepatitis Drug Prices Fall So Low, No Exclusives Needed

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Gilead Sciences Inc. and AbbVie Inc., engaged in a price war over hepatitis C drugs, are offering such substantial discounts that one benefit manager has decided to cover both medicines rather than get a lower price for one through an exclusive deal.

A “substantial reduction” in the price for Gilead’s Harvoni and AbbVie’s competing Viekira Pak made it possible to give both drugs preferred status and still save more money than through an exclusive deal, said Prime Therapeutics LLC. Prime, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, covers 25 million patients in non-profit Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans for people in 23 states.