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AHF Challenges Gilead over AIDS Drug Price Gouging of U.S. Gov't Programs on 'Stribild'

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 8:26 PM

As part of its ongoing campaign to pressure Gilead Sciences, Inc. and educate the public about the exorbitant price of HIV/AIDS medications, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today challenged the company over its price discrimination for its four-in-one HIV drug, Stribild. In the United States, Gilead charges a yearly wholesale price (WAC) of $28,500 per patient for Stribild while charging only $16,600 in Canada – a difference of nearly $12,000 per patient. (At present, the US dollar is worth .99 of Canadian dollar).

“There is no justification for Gilead to continue to charge $28,500 for Stribild in the U.S. while it is willing to cut the price in Canada and other countries,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein. “Gilead has made it loud and clear that without the kind of price controls that exist in Canada and Europe, its greed and blatant disregard for the health of its customers—people with HIV/AIDS—will continue undiminished.”

Stribild, Gilead’s four-in-one AIDS treatment combination, 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.

Already this year, on January 1st, Gilead raised the prices of four key AIDS medications in the U.S. by an average of 6%, including the price of Atripla, its best-selling three-in-one combination treatment, the price of which was increased by 6.9% to a Whole Acquisition Cost (WAC) of $1,878.23 per patient, per month. The other three HIV/AIDS medications that saw price hikes are Complera, which was raised by 5.8% to a WAC of $1,936.53; Emtriva, by 5.5% to a WAC of $478.45; and Viread, by 6% to a WAC of $771.39.

In late November, CATIE-News, an online site which states it is “Canada’s source for HIV and Hepatitis C information, reported the Canadian price for Stribild is $16,600 per patient per year. This is a 42% cost reduction compared to the $28,500 Stribild costs per patient per year in the US. This price reduction highlights Gilead's apparent willingness to gouge the pockets of US taxpayers and government-funded programs like the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) while making price concessions to countries with sometimes stronger economies than the US.

About AIDS Healthcare Foundation

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to nearly 200,000 individuals in 28 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.

(Source: Business Wire )
(Source: Quotemedia)


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