July 23 Gilead Sciences Inc said on
Wednesday that its new hepatitis C drug Sovaldi had sales of
$3.5 billion in the second quarter, crushing Wall Street
estimates and demonstrating that the furor over its price has
not curtailed early use.
Analysts had been forecasting Sovaldi sales of about $2.6
billion for the quarter.
In its first two industry record shattering full quarters on
the market, Sovaldi has racked up about $5.8 billion in sales
despite reports that thousands of patients are still waiting in
the wings for Gilead's two drugs in one pill, once a day
combination treatment expected to gain U.S. approval this year.
Sovaldi, which won U.S. approval in December, has been a
lightning rod for a fierce debate over prescription drug prices.
Its $84,000 cost for a 12-week course of treatment that works
out to $1,000 per pill has caused concerns that high demand will
place a huge burden on government-run health plans and private
Gilead said its net profit soared to $3.66 billion, or $2.20
per share, from $772.6 million, or 46 cents per share, a year
Excluding one time items, the company earned $2.36 per
share. Analysts on average expected $1.79, according to Thomson
(Reporting by Bill Berkrot; Editing by Bernard Orr)