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Highway Bill Gives $500 Million to Veterans’ Hepatitis Drugs

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The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs was authorized to spend as much as $500 million for hepatitis C treatments through Oct. 1 as part of the emergency highway funding bill signed into law on Friday.

The spending could provide a short-term sales boost for Gilead Sciences Inc., which makes the hepatitis C treatments Harvoni and Sovaldi, and for AbbVie Inc., which makes a similar drug, Viekira Pak. Gilead sold $4.9 billion of its hepatitis C pills in the second quarter, while AbbVie sold $385 million of its treatment in the same period.