Her argument was simply this: "While Sovaldi may cost $84,000 or more for an individual patient’s 12-week treatment, Reilly argues it will save money by decreasing the need for liver transplants for patients whose organs fail."
Let's do the math on Sovaldi, using some numbers from the C. Everett Koop Institute, which may or may not receive funding from Gilead and/or PhRMA:
According to the Institute's data (see Hepatitis C: The Facts):
"The average lifetime cost for hepatitis C, in the absence of liver transplant, has been estimated to be about $100,000 for individual patients. Assuming that 80% of the 4.5 million Americans believed to be infected develop chronic liver disease, the total lifetime cost for this group (3.6 million) will be a staggering $360 billion in today's dollars. Assuming an estimated survival of 40 years, the annual health care costs for the affected U.S. population with chronic hepatitis C may be as high as $9 billion."Saving $360 billion sounds like good news, right? But does the math add up to a savings for payers; e.g., Medicaid, Insurers, States, and patients?