LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today urged Gilead Sciences Inc., one of the largest manufacturers of HIV/AIDS drugs, to charge just $1.00 per pill for Descovy, the drug company’s fixed-dose combination of emtricitabine (FTC) and tenofovir alafenamide (TAF), for its use as pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP to prevent HIV acquisition in uninfected individuals.
AHF’s request comes after an advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted Wednesday to recommend final FDA approval of use of Descovy, a popular and effective fixed-dose combination treatment for those already living with HIV/AIDS, for use as pre-exposure prophylaxis by men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women.
As part of its rationale for the pricing request, AHF cited the billions of dollars Gilead has already made on its roster of HIV/AIDS medications. It also noted Gilead’s willful promotion and extensive sales of an earlier, far more toxic, formulation of the drug component known as tenofovir disoproxil fumarate or TDF—a medication proven to cause permanent damage to the kidneys and bones.
TDF is a key drug used for treatment of patients with HIV and AIDS and is also used (under the brand name, Truvada—TDF and emtricitabine) by uninfected individuals as part of the HIV prevention strategy known as PrEP. However, the medication causes damage, sometimes permanent and sometimes fatal to the kidneys and bones.
“Now that it's well on its way to gaining final FDA approval for wider use as PrEP, AHF challenges its manufacturer, Gilead, to charge just one-dollar per pill for Discovy,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AHF. “Aside from the countless billions Gilead has already made off of its HIV/AIDS treatment medications, Gilead must also now atone for its deliberate suppression of TAF from patients over the past decade or more in order to maximize profits and extend sales of its TDF-based medications. As a result, people have been grievously harmed by Gilead’s greed and its pursuit of the almighty dollar. So, Gilead should do the right thing and price Descovy for PrEP use at one-dollar per pill.”
Gilead earned over $18 billion in net profit in 2015.
About AIDS Healthcare Foundation
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.2 million individuals in 43 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