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AHF Says Corporate Welfare Fuels Gilead’s Record Q1 Profits



  AHF Says Corporate Welfare Fuels Gilead’s Record Q1 Profits

   Gilead’s profits and earnings in first quarter of 2013 are tied to price
  increases on key AIDS drugs, and the evergreening of older drugs into the
   pricey new combination Stribild and a Hep C drug priced so high it could
     impede access to medications through government programs, including
             cash-strapped AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs)

AHF says Gilead reaping “ill-gotten gains” from taxpayer-funded programs—which
 account for at least 75% of the company’s U.S. revenues—continue to foot the
bill while people with HIV/AIDS are denied access to lifesaving treatment and
                     Gilead’s coffers overflow with cash

Business Wire

LOS ANGELES -- May 2, 2013

Following the release of drug company Gilead Sciences, Inc.’s first-quarter
2013 earnings report, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today challenged the
company’s financial performance as one based on corporate welfare, as the
company continues to reap enormous profits by charging taxpayer-funded
programs like state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) astronomical prices
for key AIDS drugs, by the “evergreening” of medications soon to go off-patent
and a scheme to drive up the price of its cure for Hepatitis C.

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 be able to keep the price high by using it in other
drugs, such as Stribild.

In addition, Gilead has drawn the ire of the Hepatitis C community since the
company has refused to cooperate with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) on a cure for
Hepatitis C.

“Make no mistake: the impressive financial results from the first quarter of
2013 announced today by Gilead are made off the backs of people living with
HIV and AIDS who are being denied access to lifesaving medications because of
the company’s greed. Corporate welfare fuels Gilead’s business, as they
continue to callously scheme to squeeze as much profit out of taxpayer-funded
state-run AIDS Drug Assistance Programs, designed for the poor,” said AHF
President Michael Weinstein.

Added Weinstein: “Gilead is naïve to think that it can continue on this path
of ill-gotten gains without it eventually coming back to hurt them where they
live – the bottom line. 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, while Gilead’s CEO
John Martin enjoys compensation up to $97 million, making him one of the top
ten highest paid executives in the country. Gilead’s shareholders should take
note: success stemming from corporate welfare at the expense of taxpayers and
HIV/AIDS patients is not ultimately a sustainable business model.”

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:

AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Tim Boyd
(202) 709-9084 mobile
tim.boyd@aidshealth.org
or
Lori Yeghiayan Friedman
Telephone: (323) 308-1834
Mobile: (323) 377-4312
loriy@aidshealth.org
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