LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A May 20 story by USA Today spotlights the vast profits Gilead Sciences has amassed based on its sales to publicly funded drug providers. The article, citing Gilead as one of the “10 companies that you make rich,” notes that the company now has the highest profit margin on the S&P 500.
“Gilead has attained the highest profit margins in the S&P 500 by charging whatever it wants to payers,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization and a vocal critic of runaway drug pricing and drug profiteering. “The cycle of shameless greed fueled by negligent corporate welfare will not change if payers and patients do not take a stand.”
The vast majority of Gilead revenues are attributable to sales to taxpayer-funded health programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and state run AIDS Drug Assistance Programs. In fact, approximately 90% of Gilead revenues are from AIDS drugs alone. The largest purchaser of these drugs are taxpayers, which support care for over 75% of people living with HIV in the United States.
Gilead is further pushing the envelope of drug pricing with the introduction of its recently approved Hepatitis C treatment, Sovaldi (sofosbuvir), which costs $1,000 per pill. AHF has hosted protests over Sovaldi’s price point in New York and San Francisco, and this month ran an advocacy ad in the Wall Street Journal. The ad – which ran on May 7th, the day of Gilead’s Annual General Meeting in Millbrae, CA – read:
IF YOU THINK $1,000 A PILL IS OK STOP READING THIS.
More than 3 million Americans have Hepatitis C. Gilead Sciences’ Sovaldi is the latest attempt to gouge every last cent out of our health care system no matter the consequences on public health. Our State and Federal leaders are breaking the bank by paying whatever Gilead and its pharma allies demand without question.
The USA Today story on Gilead’s rise in the S&P 500 ran on the same day that a blog post by leading insurance trade group American Health Insurance Plans pinpointed the pricey Sovaldi – approved for treatment of the Hepatitis C virus last December – as the primary example of pharmaceutical companies gouging drug prices to unsustainable levels that cause detriment to patients and pharmacy benefits managers.
About AIDS Healthcare Foundation
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to nearly 300,000 individuals in 32 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe.