Express Scripts' Dr. Steve Miller is in the business of helping companies rein in high drug costs. When Gilead Sciences priced its hepatitis C drug Sovaldi at $1,000 per pill, he denounced the drugmaker for unfair pricing.
"If you look at the price of treating hepatitis C, it went from just five or six years ago at $25,000. Then, there were some new ones that came out at $50,000," said Miller, chief medical officer of the nation's largest pharmacy benefit firm.
At $84,000 for a 12-week treatment, Sovaldi represents a 68 percent increase over previous drugs.
"They are taking a premium on top of a premium, and we think that's not sustainable." Miller said.
Express Scripts' research lab projects hepatitis C drug-spending will double in the U.S. this year with the launch of Sovaldi and companion treatments, and increase 200 percent in 2015 and 2016.
"The cocktail to treat the patients is going to cost well north of $100,000 per patient. We have 3 million patients in the U.S. with hep C. That would be $300 billion to treat them all."