Gilead Q4 Earnings Release Marks Year of Greed and Price Hikes, Says AHF

  Gilead Q4 Earnings Release Marks Year of Greed and Price Hikes, Says AHF

  Gilead’s profits and earnings in 2012 tied to price increases on key AIDS
 drugs, and the “evergreening” of older drugs into the pricey new combination
       Stribild, the most expensive HIV combination drug on the market

If trend continues in 2013, taxpayer-funded programs will continue to foot the
  bill while people with HIV/AIDS are denied access to lifesaving treatment,
                                   says AHF

Business Wire

LOS ANGELES -- February 4, 2013

Following the release of Gilead Sciences, Inc.’s fourth-quarter and full-year
FY2012 earnings report, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today challenged the
company’s financial performance as one based on price hikes and “evergreening”
of medications soon to go off-patent. In 2012, Gilead raised the price of its
best selling AIDS drug, Atripla, to $20,800 (Wholesale Acquisition Price –
WAC), a 50% price hike since it was first approved in 2005. In September 2012,
the company introduced its four-in-one HIV drug, Stribild, at a yearly
wholesale price (WAC) of $28,500 per patient, making it the most expensive
combination HIV drug on the market. Stribild uses the active ingredient
Tenofovir, which is also used in Atripla and Gilead’s other older medications.
The patent for Tenofovir expires in 2017, but Gilead will keep generating high
revenues from the drug for years to come by using it in other products, such
as Stribild – a tactic known as “evergreening.” "Evergreening" is a term used
to describe the drug company tactic of making minor adjustments to old drugs,
such as combing them with other drugs into a single combination, in order to
secure new patents. Often, these drugs do not provide significant clinical or
safety benefits to patients, but can still cost thousands of dollars more per
year than their counterparts.

“Gilead may impress the financial community with its unabashed greed and
ability to demand and receive steep price increases from government programs
and private insurers, but it cannot hide from the real story; thousands of
people with HIV/AIDS are being denied care because of price hikes and
spiraling health care costs,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein. “Gilead is
naïve to think that it can continue on this path without it eventually coming
back to bite them. Government and non-government purchasers of these drugs –
and the taxpayers and customers they serve – will not tolerate endless price
hikes on drugs that deny lifesaving care to patients.

Added Weinstein: “Gilead’s shareholders should take note; the company’s
pricing policies have already drawn the ire of the AIDS community, and the
attention of Congress, and it is not going away anytime soon.”

Stribild, Gilead’s four-in-one AIDS treatment combination, was approved by the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in early September and immediately priced
by Gilead at $28,500 per patient, per year, Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC).
That price was over 35% more than Atripla, the company’s best selling
combination HIV/AIDS treatment, and made Stribild the highest priced first
line combination AIDS therapy today.

Already this year, on January 1^st, Gilead raised the prices of four key AIDS
medications in the U.S. 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.

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:

AHF
Tim Boyd
(202) 709-9084 mobile
tim.boyd@aidshealth.org
or
Ged Kenslea
Telephone: (323) 308-1833
Mobile: (323) 791-5526
gedk@aidshealth.org
 
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