$1,000-per-pill drug overtaken by pricier successor - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

$1,000-per-pill drug overtaken by pricier successor

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- A $1,000 pill for a liver-wasting viral infection made headlines last year for its cost and high cure rate.

But it's no longer the treatment of choice for hepatitis C.

The new leading pill is more expensive and the number of patients seeking a cure has surged.

A research firm, IMS Health, says last year's wonder drug, Sovaldi, has been pushed aside by a successor called Harvoni.

The sticker price for Harvoni is $1,350 a pill. The same company makes both pills.

The fast-paced changes in hepatitis C treatment are closely watched amid fears that breakthrough drugs for several diseases could reignite the rise of U.S. health care costs.

Hepatitis C affects some 3 million people in the U.S. and claims more lives here than AIDS.

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