Are HCV Drug Sales Plummeting?

Gilead Science’s hepatitis C (HCV) drugs are forecasted to plummet in future years, according to a recent report.

A contagious infection of the liver, hepatitis C (HCV) continues to be a public health concern, as 2.7 to 3.9 million people are living with the illness in the United States alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HCV is a disease that ranges from acute to chronic symptoms and once a person has it, they have it for life. In an effort to control this infection, biopharmaceutical companies have made efforts to provide the public with next-gen drugs, one of these companies is Gilead Sciences. However, it has recently been predicted that Gilead’s sales will plummet for a number of reasons, according to a press release.

Gilead Sciences is a biopharmaceutical company committed to the development of drugs that can meet the needs of individuals who are living with a number of illnesses. Drugs that have been developed range from treating HIV/AIDS to respiratory diseases or cardiac conditions. Among their discoveries are three different HCV drugs: Solvadi, Harvoni, and Epclusa. However, last week Leerink Partners cut its revenue forecast for these aforementioned drugs by $2 billion.

According to analyst Geoffrey Porges, PhD, “Put simply, HCV is turning out to be a ‘flash in the pan’ market, just as it has been in past cycles.” He continued, “Our existing HCV estimates were already materially below consensus, and we now think that HCV revenues will decline faster, and farther, than we had previously estimated.”

In addition, Dr. Porges estimates that Gilead’s HCV revenue will continue to decline in the coming years, experiencing a “90% drop by 2020, with sales ringing in that year at $1.7 billion.”

Gilead is not the only biopharmaceutical company expected to take a financial hit. There are many reasons that such a drop is forecasted. Some common reasons are that either patients have already received treatment or they are not receiving treatment for their illness due to problems with their insurance companies.

However, Gilead’s successes may also contribute to their demise. Not only is their treatment effective, but it allows consumers to adhere to a shorter period of treatment, which means that patients are able to cost the cost of their treatment by not having to pay for the full 12 weeks.

According to the press release, Gilead has already lowered their revenue forecasts for this year due to the fact that their sales have dropped by one third last quarter, with $2.3 billion coming in from the United States and $775 million coming in from Europe.