Gilead continues to be a stain on the pharma industry

  • A month’s supply of Truvada costs roughly $6 to make and sells for more than $1,600 in the United States.
  • Truvada was developed largely with taxpayer dollars.
  • Gilead has earned $36.2 billion on Truvada since 2004, according to its annual reports.

There is nothing worse than a pharma company who makes a profit off of taxpayer research and Gilead continues to exemplify everything that is wrong with the industry.

Per the NY Times:

“at first blush, the news that Gilead — the company that makes Truvada, the medication that prevents H.I.V. infection — will donate enough of the drug to treat 200,000 patients a year through 2030 seems like unequivocally good news. But, as drug policy experts regularly note, such donations have a long history of doing more for drug makers than for patients.  A month’s supply of Truvada costs roughly $6 to make and sells for more than $1,600 in the United States, according to the PrEP4All Collaboration, an advocacy group. (PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis, a strategy to prevent H.I.V. infection.) Owing partly to those prices, only about 18 percent of the million or so at-risk Americans who need the drug have access to it, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Gilead’s donation could double that percentage, but only if it’s reserved for patients who aren’t already receiving Truvada through the company’s existing financial aid programs. The deal, which Mr. Trump is said to have negotiated himself, contains no such guarantee. 

The Washington Post explains further:

Thomas Folks spent years in his U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab developing a treatment to block deadly HIV in monkeys. Then San Francisco AIDS researcher Robert Grant, using $50 million in federal grants, proved the treatment worked in people who engaged in risky sex.

Their work — almost fully funded by U.S. taxpayers — created a new use for an older prescription drug called Truvada: preventing HIV infection. But the U.S. government, which patented the treatment in 2015, is not receiving a penny for that use of the drug from Gilead Sciences, Truvada’s maker, which earned $3 billion in Truvada sales last year.

“The CDC has all these patents and is allowing Gilead to rip off the American people at the expense of public health,’’ said James Krellenstein, an HIV/AIDS activist and co-founder of the PrEP4All Collaboration, who has spent months digging into the government patents. Instead of enforcing the patent, Krellenstein said, CDC officials are “twiddling their thumbs.’’

The more I read, the higher my blood pressure went. This is the second time that Gilead has taken a product developed by someone else and decided to make a massive profit from it. It’s nothing short of a national disgrace and a massive stain on the whole pharmaceutical industry.

It’s obvious that the people at Gilead are only interested in protecting their salaries and jobs.

2 thoughts on “Gilead continues to be a stain on the pharma industry

  1. Are you aware that the “older prescription drug Truvada” that the government tested was Gilead’s own drug? If someone comes up for a new use for your product, do you no longer own that product?

  2. The work fully funded by U.S. taxpayers created a new use for an older prescription drug by preventing HIV infection. But the U.S. government, which patented the treatment in 2015, is not receiving a penny for that use of the drug from Gilead Sciences, ­Truvada’s maker, which earned $3 billion in Truvada sales last year.

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