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Activists and doctors accuse that efforts to prevent HIV were stuck due to Truvada's high costs



In 2012, Truvada by Gilead Sciences Inc. he became the first officially approved drug for HIV prevention, the virus that causes AIDS. It was a triumph of public health, fueled by government-funded research.

Seven years later, on HIV prevention efforts in the United States have been blocked. Only part of the American patients who could benefit a treatment known as PrEP, they get it.

The Committee on Oversight and Reforms of the House of Representatives holds a hearing in Washington Gilead, the company that makes the costly Truvada.

Activistas which promote prevention and treatment indispensable for AIDS patients and some doctors charge the annual price of 21,000 USD for treatment with Gilead.

They assure him that the government should use patents from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The United States to reduce the price, perhaps asking for copyright from Gilead.

On Thursday, the Committee on Oversight and Reforms of the House of Representatives held a hearing He faced activists and doctors against the new CEO of Gilead, Daniel O'Day.

"We suffer under the burden of your company's prices," said Aaron Lord, a neurologist and co-founder of PrEP4All Cooperation, who asked the government Donald Trump lowered Truvada's price. He said infection rates barely moved after the drug was approved. "Why not reduce Truvada's price to $ 15 a month?" He wondered

O'Day, who took over the biotech giant's command in March, said that Gilead is working hard to make Truvada more accessible. The company donates free medicines for uninsured patients and provides assistance to insured patients who can not afford it.

Gilead spent $ 1.1 million on developing the drug, which was approved for the first time in 2004.

"Gilead invented Truvada, no one else"Oh, give it to the MPs," the CDC's patents are invalid, he said.

While Gilead had created the medicine, The US government was heavily involved in using prevention as a reality. The CDC conducted early experiments on monkeys that suggested that the two compounds that formed Truvada were more effective than those for prevention. The federal government also received patents for the use of Truvada compounds for HIV prevention. These patents were not known as long as activists did not reveal them recently.

"It seems that Galaad uses CDC technology free of charge without compensating the CDC, without compensation to the taxpayer, "said Christopher Morten, a patent attorney and researcher at the Yale Law School, in an interview, reviewed the patents of CDC at the request of PrEP4All Collaboration and concluded that they were valid and enforceable

On The US government also sponsored a crucial trial, published in 2010, which assesses the effectiveness of Truvada for HIV prevention in humans.

"The role of Gilead was limited to the donation of study medicine and placebo," says Robert M. Grant, a doctor at the University of California, San Francisco, and a leading author of the trial, called Galaad "unprepared partner" in the investigation, while demand for the use of prevention increased in 2013.

Cheaper abroad

O'Day responded that two Gilead researchers were co-authors of the Preventive Examination for 2010 and that in the early days there were controversies about the use of PrEP tablets, which is short for pre-exposure prophylaxis. The company said a number of factors contribute to Insufficient use of PrEP, including stigma, homophobia and limited awareness among providers and patients.

The chief executive called the company's agreement with the federal government to donate up to 2.4 million Truvada bottles annually to help Americans risk the risk of infecting HIV "one of the biggest drug donations". The efforts, which were released last week, coincide with a call from President Donald Trump during his speech on the state of the Union, in February, to end the epidemic.

Truvada generated $ 3 million in revenue for Gilead last year, including 2,600 million in the United States. The price has risen by more than 50%, as the drug has been approved for HIV prevention, with $ 1,780 per month, according to data collected from Bloomberg Intelligence.

Democratic MPs have repeatedly pointed out that in countries where Generic Truvada is available, the price is significantly lower. Non-patent treatments are sold at around $ 60 a yearsaid Rochelle Valenski, an infectious disease expert at the Harvard Medical School.

According to a study published in the journal Lancet HIV last year, in the Australian state of New South Wales, where Sydney is located, HIV diagnoses were reduced by 25% in men homosexuals and bisexuals.

The Truvada patent in the United States expires in 2021, but Gilead has it contract with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. which will allow Teva to introduce a generic brand.


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