Gilead ‘Pillaged AIDS Enough’ to Amass $10B Cash for Pharmasset Deal, Yet Refuses HIV Drug Price Cuts
by Ged Kenslea, AHF, November 21, 2011
As thousands of Americans linger on AIDS drug waiting lists for access to lifesaving AIDS medications, Gilead announces $10.4 billion all-cash purchase of rival company, Pharmasset
In 2010, Gilead had over $6.5 billion in AIDS drug sales; now, after reaping record profits on AIDS and as patent expirations loom on HIV treatments, company looks to rival’s pipeline for new products and revenue sources
LOS ANGELES – On the same day Gilead Sciences announced its eye-popping $10.4 billion all-cash purchase of rival Pharmasset, a drug company working on treatments for Hepatitis C, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today chastised Gilead for refusing further AIDS drug price concessions to help end AIDS drug waiting lists and address the severe crisis facing the nation’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), a network of federal and state funded programs that provide life-saving HIV treatments to low income, uninsured, and underinsured individuals living with HIV/AIDS nationwide.
“Over the years, Gilead has pillaged AIDS enough to amass over $10 billion in cash to buy Pharmasset outright, but the company is too cheap to step in and really help end the AIDS drug waiting lists affecting many hard-hit ADAPs and thousands of vulnerable Americans living with HIV/AIDS around the country,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “This is outrageous. We renew our call on Gilead and its C.E.O. John Martin to cut prices and increase access to its lifesaving AIDS medications for ADAPs nationwide.”
According to a Forbes.com story on the purchase, Gilead’s medication, “Viread (tenofovir) or one of the combinations that contain it, is taken by eight in ten AIDS patients.” Gilead’s current pricing for ADAP for its blockbuster HIV/AIDS combination therapy, Atripla (efavirenz & tenofovir & emtricitabine) is approximately $10,000 per patient, per year.
Background on ADAP
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