Clinical revolution and power. The case of the one thousand dollar pill

Date: 
January 21, 2016 - 17:30 - 19:00
Building: 
Oktober 6. u. 7
Room: 
102
Event type: 
Event audience: 
Presenter(s): 
Piotr Ozieranski
CEU organizer(s): 
Olga Loblova
CEU host unit(s): 
Public Health Research Group
CEU contact person: 
Olga Loblova
E-mail: 
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Clinical revolution and power

The case of the $ 1,000 pill


Dr Piotr Ozieranski
University of BAth, UK

 New antiviral medicines offer the possibility of eradicating Hepatitis C. However, the scale of the public health problem combined with high drug prices pose major challenges for public payers. This paper delves into the crucial case of the pricing and reimbursement of sofosbuvir (brand name – Sovaldi) to explore power dynamics of the English healthcare system. It demonstrates that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends sofosbuvir based on long-term cost-effectiveness, compared with treating worsening liver disease. But NHS England struggles to afford access for all Hepatitis C patients. Instead, it seeks to balance competing stakeholder interests and define priority groups. Clinicians, patients and the industry exert considerable pressure throughout the P&R process. These findings have important implications for the political sociology of pharmaceuticals and medical sociology.