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Home Business Rep. Ocasio-Cortez criticizes Gilead for HIV drug prices

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez criticizes Gilead for HIV drug prices

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, did not hold back on Thursday when she interviewed the company's CEO, who briefed Truvada on the high cost of the drug for prevention of HIV with pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP.

"The list price in the US is almost $ 2,000, why is it $ 8 in Australia?" Ocasio-Cortez asked the CEO of Gilead Sciences, Daniel O & # 39; Day, after realizing that the company had $ 3 billion in sales in the year 2018 with the single-use pill.

O & # 39; Day responded that "Truvada still has patent protection in the United States and is generic in the rest of the world." As announced last week, the drug is expected to be widely available in the US in September 2020.

"There is no reason why this should be $ 2,000 a month," said Ocasio-Cortez, who has accelerated the hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. "People are dying and there is no valid reason."

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Ocasio-Cortez also claimed that activists and scientists claimed that Truvada's use as an HIV prevention pill had been discovered by the US government.

"We, the public, we humans, developed this medicine, we paid for this drug, we all directed and developed the basic patents to create PrEP, and then this patent was privatized, even though the patent is owned by the public. who refused to enforce it, "said Ocasio-Cortez.

In prepared remarks, O & # 39; Day denied that the centers for the control and prevention of diseases belonging to the Ministry of Health and Human Services have a patent for PrEP. "Every single Gilead employee is proud to have invented Truvada, a drug that can both treat and prevent HIV," he said.

"We believe the US government has no valid patents for the use of Truvada for pre-exposure prophylaxis or a patent for Truvada itself," O & # 39; Day added.

The hearing took place as activists increased pressure against Gilead, a company that markets and manufactures a variety of chronic disease therapies and remedies.

Members of the PrEP4All Collaboration, a group of activists seeking broad access to PrEP, and legal experts filed a class action lawsuit on Tuesday, claiming that the country's largest HIV drug companies, including Gilead, had conspired for years, cheaper ones Generate generic drugs out of the public "combination pills" that make it as easy as taking a pill a day to treat HIV.

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