(Bloomberg) — An influential advisory panel of doctors and
health experts will for the first time address the cost-effectiveness of pricey hepatitis C drugs in updated guidelines
that may change prescribing and coverage for the medicines.
The 30-member panel is a joint effort by the American
Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the Infectious
Diseases Society of America, which together represent more than
10,000 physicians, health workers and scientists. The guidelines
are used by doctors for expertise on how to treat patients and
by insurers and governments in setting policy.
Health insurers and government programs have been grappling
with the cost of the pills. Made by Gilead Sciences Inc. and
AbbVie Inc., they offer higher cure rates and fewer side effects
than older medicines, though their $1,000-a-day price tag has