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How Gilead Priced Its $20 Billion Blockbuster

Updated on
  • Gilead documents provide a rare glimpse into price decisions
  • `We have to get most of the way there in the initial pricing'

Why Do Drug Prices Keep Going Up?

From the start, the miracle drug was expected to carry a high price tag: $36,000 to treat each patient.

Over the two years leading up to the medicine’s 2013 launch, Gilead Sciences Inc. executives and advisers inched the number higher, to about $65,000, then to $81,000, then to $84,000 -- or $1,000 a pill for the 12-week treatment -- as they homed in on a price that was just below where they thought insurers would add significant restrictions for the breakthrough hepatitis C remedy.