AIDS Advocates to Protest Gilead Sciences over HIV and Hepatitis C Drug Pricing and Policies at C.R.O.I.

  AIDS Advocates to Protest Gilead Sciences over HIV and Hepatitis C Drug
  Pricing and Policies at C.R.O.I.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), Citywide Project, and the HCV Coalition for
the Cure will also co-host a community forum on fair drug pricing at Atlanta’s
   Phillip Rush Center to coincide with the Conference on Retroviruses and
                       Opportunistic Infections (CROI)

Business Wire

ATLANTA -- March 4, 2013

AIDS Healthcare Foundation(AHF), in partnership with Citywide Project Atlanta
and the HCV Coalition for the Cure will convene a two-day communityDrug
Pricing Forum Monday, March 4 and Tuesday, March 5, 2013 on the impact of high
drug prices and drug development on HIV and Hepatitis C care. Advocates from
the forum will also protest Gilead Sciences’ HIV/AIDS drug pricing policies at
the CROI conference outside the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta on
both days. In September, the FDA approved Gilead’s new four-in-one AIDS
treatment combination Stribild, and the drug company immediately
pricedStribildat $28,500 per patient, per year, Wholesale Acquisition Cost
(WAC)—a whopping 37% more than the price of Gilead’s best-selling three-in-one
AIDS treatment, Atripla—and making it the most expensive combination HIV drug
on the market.

          
WHAT:      PROTEST OF GILEAD SCIENCES @ CROI CONFERENCE – 1:30 PM EST outside
            the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta
            
WHEN:       MONDAY, March 4, 2013 1:30pm
            
            PROTEST – Outside the CROI Conference at the Georgia World
WHERE:      Congress Center: 285 Andrew Young International Blvd NW, Atlanta,
            GA
            
CONTACTS:   Tim Boyd: 213.590.7375, Jason King: 954.610.3064
          
            
WHAT:       DRUG PRICING FORUM – 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM, Phillip Rush Center,
            Atlanta
            
WHEN:       TUESDAY, March 5, 2013 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM
            
WHERE:      DRUG PRICING FORUM – The Phillip Rush Center: 1530 DeKalb Avenue,
            Suite A, Atlanta, GA 30307
            
CONTACTS:   Tim Boyd: 213.590.7375, Jason King: 954.610.3064
          

Already this year, on January 1, Gilead raised the prices of four key AIDS
medications by an average of 6%, including the price ofAtripla, 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
areComplera, which was raised by 5.8% to a WAC of $1,936.53;Emtriva, by 5.5%
to a WAC of $478.45; andViread, by 6% to a WAC of $771.39.

“Our first line of defense against Gilead’s ‘predatory pricing’ of its drugs
is to educate and mobilize the communities that are affected, which is why we
are convening this drug pricing forum and protest in Atlanta this week. With
the CROI conference brining in HIV/AIDS stakeholders from around the world, it
is a great environment to mobilize consumers and advocates around the
importance of fair drug pricing for achieving global AIDS control,” said Tim
Boyd, Director of Domestic Policy for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “As a major
sponsor of the CROI conference, Gilead thinks it can buy its way out of taking
responsibility for the impact of its high drug prices on patients. However,
through the drug pricing forum and protests at CROI, we will shed light on the
real Gilead: a company that has generated record profits – and over $54
million in annual pay for its CEO – at the expense of state ADAP and Medicaid
programs, the largest purchasers of Gilead’s products, and the people living
with HIV/AIDS that rely on these programs but cannot access them due to
funding constraints.“

One of the co-hosts of the drug forum, HCV Coalition for the Cure, is seeking
to shed more light on the delay in developing a cure for Hepatitis C. “Few
people know a cure for the condition has been found and could be available to
patients if not for the stubborn refusal of Gilead to cooperate with BMS, a
refusal motivated solely by the same corporate greed that led Gilead to raise
the prices of four of its HIV medications at the beginning of this year,” said
Kim Salazar, HCV Coalition for the Cure. “While Gilead holds out their
cooperation in an effort to squeeze every last nickel from this lifesaving
drug combination, millions of people around the world are dying from
complications related to Hepatitis C, or, at best, they’re putting up with
painful and harmful physical side effects from the presently available
treatment.”

“$28,500 per patient, per year for Gilead’s new four-in-one AIDS drug
Stribild—a drug which in many ways is another ‘me too’ drug offering only
marginally better efficacy for a Cadillac cost—illustrates just how
unsustainable drug pricing has become,” saidWilliam Francis, Head of Citywide
Project Atlanta. “$28,500 is more than most AIDS patients in the US—earn in
any given year. Runaway drug pricing limits access to lifesaving AIDS
medications by gouging hard-hit government aid programs as well as private
insurers.”

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
Tim Boyd, Director of Domestic Policy
213-590-7375 cell
timothy.boyd@aidshealth.org
or
AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Ged Kenslea, Communications Director
+1-323-791-5526 cell
gedk@aidshealth.org
 
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