On The Cure For A Dreaded Disease


It’s a deadly liver disease that afflicts 3 million Americans. There are treatments for it that rank somewhere between “poke in the eye with a sharp stick” and “Spanish Inquisition”.

It’s name is Hepatitis C and it’s my happy duty to report that it’s now entirely curable.

Yes, you read it right – there’s a cure for Hep C.

Science Marches On.

But…there’s a catch – the drug, Sofosbuvir, comes with a hefty price tag: $1000 a pill or $84,000.00 plus the cost of the companion treatments that go along with it.

The drug company, Gilead, says this is a fair price bringing this medicine to market while activists are upset that the cure costs so much.

I can sort of understand the point. The cure for polio could have made Jonas Salk a billionaire several times over but instead he opted to selflessly offer the cure to the world free of charge. At the time, polio was killing and maiming people (mostly children) at alarming rates so, in a very real sense, it was the right thing to do but Big Pharma learned a very valuable lesson that day: there’s no profit in the cure.

Which brings me to a very interesting question, Gilead: why even develop the cure? Why not simply make a pill that allows people with Hep C to live with the disease for the rest of their lives?

Perhaps I just answered my own question.