Lower Drug Pricing Key to Fix for Industry’s Image, Says AHF

  Lower Drug Pricing Key to Fix for Industry’s Image, Says AHF

  Report on Forbes.com says ‘Pharma's Reputation Continues to Suffer,’ and a
 recent industry survey shows pharma’s reputation ranks at the bottom of all
  health care industries due to ‘a lack of fair pricing policies leading to
 unseemly profits,’–AHF says price reductions are key to repairing pharma’s
                                    image

   While Gilead Sciences (GILD) ranked second in the Patient View Quarterly
survey, poor record of price hikes for lifesaving AIDS drugs and price gouging
               of taxpayer-funded drug programs tarnish company

Business Wire

WASHINGTON -- January 18, 2013

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.

Contact:

AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Ged Kenslea
Communications Director
Los Angeles, CA, USA
+1-323-791-5526 [mobile]
+1-323-308-1833 [work]
gedk@aidshealth.org
or
Tim Boyd
Public Affairs Manager
Washington, DC, USA
+1-213-590-7375 [mobile]
timothy.boyd@aidshealth.org
 
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