Our lawyers are reviewing potential lawsuits for people who were denied insurance coverage for Harvoni, a new medication that has been reported to cure more than 90% of Hepatitis C patients with few side effects.
Update: Gilead Faces Another Lawsuit for Hep C Royalties
September 12, 2016 – The University of Minnesota has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Gilead Sciences, alleging that the company’s sofosbuvir-containing drugs violate its intellectual property rights. The complaint seeks “no less than a reasonable royalty” on sales of Harvoni, Sovaldi and Epclusa. At issue is a patent granted to the university by Dr. Carston Wagner, an endowed chair in its pharmacy college. Gilead maintains the patent is invalid.
What’s the Problem?
Manufactured by Gilead Sciences Inc., Harvoni is a direct-acting antiviral medication that works by blocking the ability of the Hepatitis C virus to make copies of itself. According to reports, Harvoni cures up to 95% of Hep C patients in as little as 8 weeks. Unfortunately, an 8-week regimen of Harvoni costs approximately $63,000, or about $1,125 per pill, which has led to insurance companies setting restrictions on patients who are approved treatment with the drug.
Harvoni Denied Insurance Claims
In two recent lawsuits filed against Anthem Blue Cross, the insurer allegedly denied coverage for Harvoni because the liver damage suffered by plaintiffs was not severe enough to warrant payment for the drug. In each case, Anthem decided that Harvoni was not medically necessary, according to the lawsuits. Plaintiffs in both lawsuits allege they have suffered physical injury, emotional stress and economic damages, among other things.
More Lawsuits Expected
Experts say the influx of Harvoni lawsuits are to be expected, and that more are likely to be filed in the future. “It’s every man for themselves and insurance carriers will do whatever they can do to minimize their cost of doing business, including coverage provision interpretation,” said Randy Vogenberg, a partner at Access Market Intelligence, a consulting firm that specializes in managed care.
Gilead to Pay $200M Over Hepatits C Dispute
March 28, 2016 – A California jury has ordered Gilead to pay Merck &. Co $200 million in damages for infringing on 2 patents related to Harvoni and Sovaldi, according to Fortune. The damages awarded were significantly less than the $2 billion Merck sought. Together, Harvoni and Sovaldi raked in $20 billion in U.S. sales in 2014 and 2015.
Gilead Pricing Scheme Slammed in Senate Report
December 1, 2015 – Gilead Sciences put profits ahead of patients in pricing its groundbreaking Sovaldi and Harvoni Hepatitis C treatments, according to a bipartisan senate report released today. The company knew that more patients could have been treated if the drugs were priced cheaper; instead, it refused to lower the price or offer meaningful discounts in order to maximize profit.