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Gilead’s Gaffe Leads Drugmakers to Pledge More Openness on Price

Drugmakers worried about a backlash over soaring drug prices are increasingly talking with insurers ahead of time about paying for new therapies that could cost six figures a year.

Companies such as Biogen Inc., Amgen Inc. and Sanofi are wary of the negative attention Gilead Sciences Inc. received over hepatitis C cure Sovaldi, which surprised the industry in late 2013 with its cost -- $84,000 for 12 weeks of treatment. The price tag had House Democrats calling for an explanation from Gilead executives, and Gilead was spurned by the biggest manager of drug insurance benefits in the U.S., which backed a rival’s discounted hepatitis C drug instead.