Gilead Sciences, the Foster City, Calif.-based drugmaker, said sales of its blockbuster hepatitis C duo topped $3.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014, fueling quarterly revenue that doubled to $7.3 billion and $3.5 billion in profits.
Gilead’s Sovaldi, which has been on the U.S. market for 13 months, generated $1.7 billion in sales in the fourth quarter. It brought in $10.3 billion in sales in one year, with $8.5 billion coming from the U.S. market.
Harvoni, also developed by Gilead, received approval in October from the Food and Drug Administration and has already reported $2.1 billion in sales.
The company’s total revenue rose to $7.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to $3.1 billion in the same quarter in 2013. Net income was $3.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014, up from $791 million in the third quarter of 2013.
Revenue for the year hit $24.9 billion in 2014, compared with $11.2 billion in 2013, while profits totaled $12.1 billion, compared with $3.1 billion last year.
The arrival of Sovaldi in December 2013 kicked off a national debate about drug pricing as federal and state payers and insurers fretted over the drug’s $84,000 price tag. But the market for the new class of hepatitis C treatments that includes Sovaldi is getting crowded, in part due to the October approval of Harvoni, which costs about $94,500.
Another drug, Viekira Pak, sold by AbbVie, received FDA approval in December. It costs $83,320.
The recent approval of new therapies has created a bidding war among insurers and pharmacy benefit managers seeking to negotiate lower prices on the drugs. About 3 million Americans have hepatitis C, which can lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer. Sovaldi’s cure rate is 95%, making it a clinically significant treatment compared to traditional therapies that had a cure rate of about 40%.
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