<edit> Yes, I believe that is what Jimmy is saying, generics would be cheaper and we could use the saved money elsewhere.
Based on current Indian/Pakistani generics bulk buy prices it would appear possible to treat the whole Australian HCV population of approx. 230,000 for less than half a billion A$ (including those like myself who require 24wks). Yet our government has chosen the brand name path for one billion to treat what will probably turn out to be only a small proportion of those infected.
A$500,000,000/230,000 = A$2,174 or US$1,522 avg per treatment max cost if everyone wants treatment.
A$1,000,000,000/230,000 = A$4,348 or US$3,440 avg per treatment assuming we can process at least 46,000 treatments per year (but we pay the full billion either way)
IMHO the first option sounds like better economics and I suspect average cost would be significantly less than the generous price I have allowed.
And a spare half a billion dollars is quite a bit of money that could be used by our medical system to treat other ailments.