May 17, 2019

Truvada, a drug designed in the U.S. to reduce the risk of HIV transmission, is more expensive here than anywhere in the world. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked why. And it's the same old story. What can be manufactured and sold for next to nothing as a generic drug, isn't allowed in the United States because the drug companies write their own laws with much longer patent protection than they should have.

Source: The Hill

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) confronted a CEO Thursday for pricing a drug designed to reduce the risk of HIV transmission at $8 in Australia but over $1,500 in the U.S.

"You're the CEO of Gilead. Is it true that Gilead made $3 billion in profits from Truvada in 2018?" Ocasio-Cortez asked Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day.

"$3 billion in revenue," he clarified.

"The current list price is $2,000 a month in the United States, correct?" she asked, referring to Truvada.

"It's $1,780 in the United States," O'Day responded.

"Why is it $8 in Australia?" Ocasio-Cortez countered.

"Truvada still has patent protection in the United States and in the rest of the world it is generic," O'Day explained, adding, "It will be generically available in the United States as of September 2020."

"I think it's important here that we notice that we the public, we the people, developed this drug. We paid for this drug, we lead and developed all the patents to create Prep and then that patent has been privatized despite the fact that the patent is owned by the public, who refused to enforce it," Ocasio-Cortez said.

“There’s no reason this should be $2,000 a month. People are dying because of it and there’s no enforceable reason for it.”

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