What we're reading, July 26, 2016: revenues from Gilead's hepatitis C drugs continue to fall; Arizona's plan to unfreeze enrollment in CHIP has been approved; and Colombia declares an end to the Zika virus epidemic.
Revenues from Gilead’s hepatitis C virus (HCV) drugs continue to fall due to competition and pricing pressures. The Wall Street Journal reported that sales of HCV drugs fell 19% overall during the second quarter of 2016. Sales of Harvoni took a big hit (-29%), while Sovaldi sales saw a gain (5.2%). Gilead executives said the decrease in sales is a result of increased competition in the space and a mandatory price cut in Japan.
Arizona’s plan to unfreeze enrollment in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has been approved, making it the last state to provide coverage. Between 30,000 and 40,000 children will become newly eligible for healthcare coverage starting September 1, according to The Washington Post. The state had frozen enrollment for its KidsCare program in 2009 to save money after the recession and the program had been formally shut down in 2014.
Colombia has declared an end to the Zika virus epidemic in the country. While new cases will continue to appear, the country’s vice minister of health said that the outbreak has been controlled, according to STAT. The peak of the epidemic in Colombia was early February, when more than 6000 cases were reported in a week. The latest weekly survey reported fewer than 1000 cases. However, some experts believe declines in case in some countries could just be a seasonal drop rather than a true end to the outbreak.