AHF: Congress Puts Foot Down on Funding High-Priced AIDS Drugs
Gilead and AIDS drug manufacturers must fill ADAP funding gap with price cuts,
House- and Senate-passed legislation that will fund government programs for
the rest of FY2013 capped spending for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP)
at approximately $900 million. With price increases for AIDS drugs outpacing
funding for ADAP, the pressure is on Gilead – the nation’s largest AIDS drug
company – and other AIDS drug manufacturers to lower prices in order to
prevent waiting lists for lifesaving care. Gilead’s Stribild was FDA approved
in Fall 2012 at a retail price of $28,500 per year, making it the most
expensive HIV combination drug on the market.
WASHINGTON -- March 27, 2013
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today called on Gilead Sciences, Inc. and
other AIDS drug manufacturers to lower prices for government-run AIDS Drug
Assistance Programs (ADAP) nationwide following a funding cap for the program
set by Congress in legislation funding the government for the rest of FY2013.
Without action by the drug companies and states to negotiate lower prices,
ADAP waiting lists could leave as many as 8,000 people across several states
without access to lifesaving treatment.
“After years of increasing funding for ADAP in hopes of ensuring access to
lifesaving care for people with HIV/AIDS, only to see the money go to pay for
overpriced new drugs and subsidize million-dollar bonuses for drug industry
CEOs, Congress has finally put its foot down and said enough is enough,” said
AHF President Michael Weinstein. “The onus is now on Gilead, the nation’s
largest and most profitable AIDS drug manufacturer, and other AIDS drug
companies to reduce prices in order to avert deadly waiting lists.”
“Gilead has treated government funding for ADAPs as its personal piggy bank,
showing little regard for the impact of its drug pricing policies on access to
care for people with HIV/AIDS,” said Tim Boyd, AHF’s Director of Domestic
Policy. “At a time when nearly ten thousand people were on waiting lists for
AIDS drugs, Gilead was paying its CEO, John Martin, over $54 million a year,
making him the tenth-highest paid CEO in the county. Now, on the verge of this
next crisis – if it is not averted – Martin’s pay has jumped to over $90
million. Clearly, Gilead can afford to act responsibly by lowering prices so
that more people are not denied access to lifesaving treatment.”
Background on ADAP and Congressional Actions
Congress has taken drastic action to increase funding for ADAPs, even as the
cost of drugs used in the programs have continued to rise. For example, in
April 2011, Congress increased the budget for ADAPs by $48 million, the
largest single-year increase for the program in nearly a decade. In addition,
last year, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) transferred $30
million in “emergency funding” to ADAPs to help address growing waiting lists.
According to the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors
(NASTAD) in its 2012 report on ADAPs, drug spending by the programs has
increased more than eight-fold (806%) since 1996, almost three times the rate
of client growth over this same period (341% increase between 1996 and 2011).
AHF’s internal analysis of recent drug pricing trends has found that, since
2000, the average price of new HIV/AIDS medicines has increased nearly 70
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.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Chief of Public Affairs & General Counsel
Senior Director, Communications
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