LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization and a vocal critic of runaway drug pricing and drug profiteering, today criticized Gilead Sciences, its CEO John Martin and several senior executives of the leading HIV/AIDS drug maker for continuing their practice of pillaging U.S. taxpayers as a means to fund the company’s unbridled corporate gluttony. AHF’s condemnation comes as Gilead Sciences releases what is widely expected to be a heady earnings report today.
Over the past several days, the Bay Area drug company awarded $8 million in bonuses and fat pay raises to senior executives, several of whom also cashed out over $33 million in stock options in the past month. Last year, CEO John Martin landed 10th on Forbes’ List of the highest paid U.S. CEOs—all executives, not just pharmaceutical company executives.
Gilead’s latest display of out-of-touch greed comes on the heels of the company’s January pricing of its new Hepatitis C treatment, Sovaldi (sofosbuvir), at $1,000 per pill—$84K for a twelve-week course of treatment—1,100% more than Gilead’s most expensive AIDS drug, Stribild ($80 per-pill or $28,500 per-patient, per year), it’s four-in-one AIDS drug combination.
“Gilead continues its bet that the sky is the limit on drug pricing, a move that has bankrolled an amazing—and very disheartening—show of insatiable corporate gluttony,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “Like Icarus, who flew too close to the sun and lost his wings, Gilead keeps reaching higher and higher, or deeper and deeper into the pockets of U.S. taxpayers, fleecing them by pricing its drugs at such astronomical levels. They do so knowing full well that the largest single purchaser of drugs in the U.S. is the government, and by selling to programs like Medicaid, Medicare and the V.A., Gilead, and other drug companies, they complete a vicious, ongoing circle: unbridled corporate greed at the expense of taxpayers' wallets. It is widely known that in ways large and small, the government funds the bulk of drug research done in this country. However, private companies like Gilead often–and oftentimes legally—wrestle patents and control away, then sell their patented drugs back to the government. And while drug companies offer rebates or discounts to these government programs, they do so on prices that have been set so high initially—like $1,000 a pill for Gilead's Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi—as to make the whole process a sham or shell game. When will taxpayers and government officials realize that enough is enough and fight back against Gilead and other drug makers who perpetuate this circle of greed?”
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 279,756 individuals in 32 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.