In 2012, Trumpet from Gilead Sciences Inc. he became the first officially approved medicines to prevent HIVthe virus that causes AIDS. It was a triumph of public health that was dictated by years of government-funded research.
Seven years later HIV prevention efforts in the US are stagnating. Only a small fraction of American patients who could benefit from this treatment known as PrEP, they get it.
The House of Representatives's Committee on Supervision and Reform conducts a hearing in Washington Gilead, the company that makes the expensive Truvada.
Activistas which promote the prophylaxis and treatment needed for AIDS patients and some doctors blame the annual price of $ 21,000. for treatment with Glaad.
They assure him the government must take advantage of the patents of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The US to reduce the price, perhaps looking for compensation from Galaad.
On Thursday, the House of Representatives' Supervisory and Reform Committee held a hearing He faces activists and doctors against Galaad's new CEO, Daniel O'Day.
"We suffer from the weight of your company's prices," says Aaron Lord, a neurologist and co-founder of Cooperation PrEP4All, who has asked the government Donald Trump to reduce the price of TruvadaHe said the rate of infections had barely moved since the medicine was approved. "Why not reduce the price of Truwada to 15 dollars a month?" He asked
O'Day, who took over the management of the biotech giant in March, said that Gilaad is working hard to make Truwada more accessible, The company donated free medicines to uninsured patients and provided assistance to insured patients who could not afford it.
Guilead has spent $ 1.1 million on drug development, which was first approved in 2004.
"Gulaad has invented Truwada, no one else"O'Days Day told legislators," CDC's patents are invalid, he said.
While Glaad was creating the drug, The US government has been very committed to making prevention a reality. CDC conducts early experiments on monkeys that suggest that the two compounds that make up Truvada are more effective than one for prevention. The federal government also received patents for the use of Truvada compounds for HIV prevention. These patents are not known while the activists did not find them recently.
"Gilead uses the CDC technology for free without compensating the CDC, without compensating the taxpayer, "said Christopher Morten, a patent attorney and researcher at the Yale Law School in an interview, reviewed the CDC's patents at the request of PrEP4All Collaboration and concluded that they were valid and enforceable.
on The US government also sponsors a key process, published in 2010, which established the effectiveness of Truvada for the prevention of HIV in humans.
"The role of Glaad is limited to donating medication for research and placebo," says Robert M. Grant, a doctor at the University of California, San Francisco and lead author of the study. Gilaad is a "reluctant partner" in the investigation, while in 2013 there is no increase in demand for prevention.
O'Day replied that two Gilead researchers were co-authors of the 2010 Prevention Survey, and that there were controversies over the use of PrEP pills in the early days, which is not enough to prevent pre-exposure prophylaxis. The company said a wide range of factors contributed to insufficient use of PrEP, including stigma, homophobia, and limited awareness among providers and patients.
The Chief Executive Officer called the company's agreement with the federal government to donate up to 2.4 million Truvada bottles a year to help Americans without a risk of HIV infection "one of the biggest drug donations." The efforts announced last week coincide a conversation with President Donald Trump in his speech on the state of the Union, in February, to end the epidemic.
Truwada has generated $ 3,000 million in revenue for Galaad last year, including 2600 million in the United States. The price has risen by more than 50% since the drug is approved for HIV prevention at $ 1,780. per month, according to data gathered by Bloomberg Intelligence.
Democratic MPs have repeatedly pointed out that in countries where Common Truvada is available, costs are significantly lower. Non-patent treatments are sold for about $ 60 a yearsaid Rochelle Welsky, an infectious disease expert at the Harvard Medical School.
According to a study published in the magazine HIV Lancet last year in the Australian state of New South Wales where Sydney is located, HIV diagnoses are reduced by 25% for men homosexuals and bisexuals.
The Truvada patent in the United States expires by 2021, but Glaad has agreement with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. This will allow Teva to introduce a generic brand.