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$1,000 Hepatitis Pill Shows Why Fixing Health Costs Is So Hard

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FILE - This undated file handout photo provided by Gilead Sciences shows the hepatitis C medication Sovaldi. Facing ballooning costs for the $1,000 pill to treat hepatitis C, Illinois’ Medicaid program is putting tight restrictions into place. Patients must now meet 25 criteria before the government health care program will pay for the new drug that holds promise for a cure but at a budget-straining expense. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Gilead Sciences, File) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

A new drug for the liver disease hepatitis C is scaring people. Not because the drug is dangerous — it’s generally heralded as a genuine medical breakthrough — but because it costs $1,000 a pill and about $84,000 for a typical person’s total treatment.

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