Friday, May 10, 2019

Gilead Will Donate PrEP For 200K People

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced that pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, Inc. has agreed to donate pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication for up to 200,000 individuals each year for up to 11 years.

PrEP is used to reduce the risk of HIV infection in individuals who are at higher risk for HIV. It has been shown to reduce the risk of new infection by up to 97 percent when taken consistently.

The agreement between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Gilead will last until at least December 31, 2025 and possibly through December 31, 2030, and will provide medication to treat individuals who are at risk for HIV and who are uninsured.

This donation will deliver Gilead’s PrEP medication Truvada, which currently carries a list price of more than $20,000 per patient per year, to up to 200,000 people per year, including in the states and counties identified as priority areas in the Trump Administration plan - PDF to end the HIV epidemic in America.

Gilead will donate Truvada until its second-generation HIV preventative medication, Descovy, becomes available. At that time, Gilead will donate Descovy. The agreement would end after 11 years, or when a generic version of Descovy becomes commercially available, whichever comes first. The government has agreed to cover costs associated with distributing the drugs.

But some folks point out this isn't a simple case of the Gilead folks being generous.

The U.S. government spent years, as well as tens of millions of dollars, developing the treatment. The federal government patented the treatment in 2015, but doesn't make a penny from it while Gilead, which has a U.S. monopoly on the drug, has cleaned up.

A month's supply of Truvada can cost $2,000, but costs a small fraction of that to produce.

(via press release)

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