Drugmaker Gilead Sciences saw its earnings fall again amid lower sales of its expensive blockbuster hepatitis C drug Harvoni.
Gilead's second-quarter profit was down 22% to $3.5 billion, and global revenue dropped 6% to $7.8 billion. Gains in HIV drug sales were offset by reduced sales of hepatitis C therapies, particularly Harvoni, the most expensive hepatitis C drug on the market, retailing at nearly $95,000 per treatment.
Revenue from Harvoni totaled $2.6 billion in the three months ended June 30, down 29% from the same time last year. Harvoni's slow trudge reduced global sales of all of Gilead's hepatitis C products by 18% to $4 billion, which includes Sovaldi and early U.S. sales of Epclusa, which in late June became the first U.S. pill approved to treat all major forms of hepatitis C.
Executives said during a conference call that increased rebates also led to lower revenue.
Reduced sales of Harvoni also affected Gilead's profits last quarter, likewise due to steeper insurer discounts and higher rebates for patients in government-run health plans like Medicaid. Harvoni sales were down 15% in the first quarter with the biggest drop-offs in the U.S. and Japan.
Harvoni's retail price is $94,500 for a course of treatment, while Solvadi costs about $84,000, and new Epclusa is listed at just less than $75,000 per course of treatment. The drugs usually eliminate the virus after a single course of treatment, but the cost can be prohibitive to some.
Gilead, based in Foster City, Calif., reported $7.1 billion in profit so far this year, down 20% from the same six months last year, and $15.6 billion in six-month revenue, down 2% from the year before. The company lowered its net product sales for fiscal 2016 to $29.5 billion to $30.5 billion, down from $30 billion to $31 billion previously.