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The recent price battle between competing Hepatitis C treatments from AbbVie (Viekira-PAK) and Gilead Bioscience (Harvoni/Sovaldi) for best placement on preferred drug coverage lists has revealed, once more, the complexity of commercializing innovative new drugs by pharma companies. Indeed, specialty drugs i.e. new generation therapies used to treat severe illnesses such as cancer, hepatitis C or autoimmune diseases (e.g. multiple sclerosis), are attracting increasing pharma/investor/government interest and are steadily replacing traditional drugs in the annual list of FDA-approved drugs (expected to account for >50% of all new approvals in the upcoming years1).
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