U.S. Markets closed

German insurers win discounts on Gilead's Sovaldi

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - U.S. biotechnology company Gilead (GILD.O) has conceded its first discounts in Germany on its key hepatitis C drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni, German business weekly WirtschaftsWoche reported.

The head of Gilead's German operations told the magazine that discounts from the list price of 60,000 euros (44,867 pounds) per treatment had been negotiated with four of Germany's statutory health insurers but declined to give the size of the discounts.

"Thirty-five percent of people with statutory health insurance are already profiting from the discount agreements," Carsten Nowotsch said in an interview to be published on Monday, adding that more such contracts could follow.

Germany is Europe's biggest market for medicines, and dozens of healthcare agencies in Europe and as far away as Japan use German prices as references for their own.

Solvadi was the first effective cure for hepatitis C on the market and quickly amassed billions of dollars in sales within its first few months on the market in 2014.

Last month, U.S. regulators approved a competing treatment from AbbVie (ABBV.N), immediately prompting the country's largest pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts (ESRX.O) to drop reimbursement for the Gilead drug.

Gilead received regulatory approval for its newer hepatitis C drug, Harvoni, last October.

($1 = 0.8923 euros)


(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan, editing by David Evans)