AHIP calls for lower price on Sovaldi

America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) is calling on drug maker Gilead to lower the price of Sovaldi, its blockbuster hepatitis C medication.

The latest urging from AHIP came after Gilead reported nearly $3.5 billion second-quarter sales of the drug, continuing what the Wall Street Journal described as the "best-selling prescription drug launch in history."

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Sovaldi is said to cure hepatitis C in almost every case. But AHIP spokesman Brendan Buck said its effectiveness does not warrant the price of $1,000 per pill.

"It's purely a reflection of Gilead believing that it has a blank check," Buck said in a statement.

"Now that Sovaldi is well on its way to obliterating sales records, we have to find a solution that promotes access, not barriers to it. The first step is very simple: lower the price."

PhRMA, the trade group for drug makers, has come to Gilead's aid though the company is not a member.

The organization argues that drugs like Sovaldi are necessarily expensive to develop but will produce massive cost savings for the healthcare system  by curing Hep C.

Sovaldi's sales ticked up from the first quarter, when Gilead netted $2.3 billion from its first full quarter of sales of the drug.