WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In response to a Forbes.com story entitled “Pharma's Reputation Continues to Suffer -- What Can Be Done To Fix It?” and recent Patient View Quarterly survey showing the pharmaceutical industry’s reputation ranks at the bottom of all health care industries, leading global nonprofit AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) contends that the key to repairing the drug industry’s poor reputation is to change its policy of gouging prices for medicines, including those used to treat HIV/AIDS.
According to the Patient View survey, as reported by Forbes.com, the leading cause of discontent with the pharmaceutical industry is, “a lack of fair pricing policies leading to unseemly profits.” The survey found industry also received a ‘poor’ rating on “Acting with integrity.”
“Pharma should hear the message loud and clear; its policy of gouging patients over their health is backfiring. The fact that a company like Gilead Sciences, a company whose business model is to gouge government programs and people with HIV/AIDS in order to maximize profits, is the best pharma has to offer clearly shows far this industry has fallen,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
Stribild, Gilead’s four-in-one combination pill that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in September of last year, is the most expensive AIDS first line treatment on the market today at $28,500 per patient, per year, which was 35% higher than the price of their best-selling treatment at that time and is more than most HIV/AIDS patients earn annually.
Already this year, on January 1, Gilead raised the prices of four key AIDS medications 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.
“If pharma truly cares about patients—its customers—the industry as a whole should dramatically change its pricing policies,” added Weinstein.
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.