Sovaldi may make financial sense for prisons: Study

October 20, 2014
According to researchers at Stanford University, it may make financial sense to give prisoners, one of the main groups infected with hepatitis C, expensive treatments, such as Sovaldi. The researchers said Sovaldi is cost-effective compared to other FDA-approved hepatitis C treatments. Researchers found that a treatment regimen led by Sovaldi added 2.1 "quality-adjust life years," or QALYs, which measure the effectiveness of a therapy, at an additional cost of $54,000 when compared to no treatment. By comparison, a drug regimen led by Merck & Co.'s Victrelis added 1.3 QALYs. Chronically infected hepatitis C inmates represent 12% to 35% of the U.S. prison population, according to the CDC. The problem, some have argued, is that many individuals can't afford Sovaldi and, in the case of public health insurance programs or jails and prisons, the cost is too much for their budgets.