AHF: Gilead Scores Record Profits on AIDS Drug Price Gouging
Advocates from AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today criticized Gilead Sciences and its CEO John Martin on the news that the company scored record profits in its 2012 third quarter largely on Gilead's historic pattern and practice of AIDS drug price gouging. According to a Reuters news item on the earnings, “Gilead's third-quarter sales of HIV drug Atripla rose 9 percent to $865.4 million, which was short of the $876 million expected by analysts, according to numbers published by BMO Capital Markets. Sales of HIV drug Truvada rose 8 percent to $804.2 million, beating analysts' estimate of $762 million.” The article also noted that third quarter revenue was up 14% overall to $2.43 billion, as the company also raised its full year sales forecast to $9.2 billion.
“This is about as clear an example of AIDS drug profiteering as one can get. Gilead, under CEO John Martin, scored record profits in the third quarter by gouging hard-hit government programs and private insurers with incredibly high prices that do not reflect the reality of the R&D involved in developing these lifesaving drugs nor the actual costs to manufacture them,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “Just last month, Gilead introduced its newest drug, Stribild, a four-in-one AIDS tablet which the company immediately priced at $28,500 per patient per year after receiving FDA approval—a price that makes it the most expensive first line HIV/AIDS therapy today. Profits from Stribild are likely not yet reflected in its current earnings, and to its credit, Gilead did offer price concessions on Stribild to the nation's struggling network of AIDS Drug Assistance Programs; however, prices are simply too high to start with, as reflected in these earnings.”
Stribild, the new four-in-one AIDS treatment combination by Gilead, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in early September and immediately priced by Gilead at $28,500 per patient, per year, Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC). That price was over 35% more than Atripla, the company's best selling combination HIV/AIDS treatment, and made Stribild the highest priced first line combination AIDS therapy today.
“We asked the state arms of programs like Medicaid to exclude Stribild from their drug formularies or place the medication on ‘prior authorization' status if Gilead does not make it price-neutral to that of their price for Atripla,” added AHF's Weinstein. “As tax dollars pay for most of these drugs, we continue our call on Gilead to expand price concessions on Stribild to other programs including Medicaid, Medicare, private insurers and other payors.”
About AIDS Healthcare Foundation
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 187,000 individuals in 27 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare.