Segment 9: Could the Government Buy Patent Rights for Harvoni?

The idea has been floated that the government should try buying the patent rights for Harvoni from Gilead Sciences in an attempt to improve access, but even if such a move was feasible, no one seems to think it's a good idea.

The idea has been floated that the government should try buying the patent rights for Harvoni from Gilead Sciences in an attempt to improve access, but even if such a move was feasible, no one seems to think it’s a good idea.

“I believe that the government is in the business of governing and should not be a provider of healthcare products,” Ed Cohen, PharmD, FAPhA, said simply.

Matthew D. Harman, PharmD, MPH, and Keith Hoffman, Phd, echoed that belief and wondered how the logistics of such a purchase would work. However, Steven Miller, MD, MBA, after meeting with government committees with jurisdiction over healthcare, is not worried this could happen.

“This idea is going absolutely nowhere,” he said. “This was floated by some people and there is very little enthusiasm for it.”