AHF Shareholder Advocates Challenge Gilead on Drug Pricing at AGM

  AHF Shareholder Advocates Challenge Gilead on Drug Pricing at AGM

   Gilead acknowledges that a majority of its drug sales are to government
 programs while reporting gross profit margins of between 74% to 76%, yet the
company continues to raise the prices of new drugs and will soon introduce new
 HCV drugs that could cost upwards of $100,000 per year; Advocates criticize
             $28.5K price of four-in-one AIDS treatment Stribild

Business Wire

SAN FRANCISCO -- May 8, 2013

A group of AIDS advocates from AIDS Healthcare Foundation who are also Gilead
shareholders attended Gilead Sciences’ Annual General Meeting on Wednesday to
press Gilead executives, including CEO John Martin—whose 2012 compensation
package was reportedly $97 million—over the company’s drug pricing and
policies. At the meeting, Gilead officials acknowledged that a majority of its
drug sales are to government programs while they also reported gross profit
margins of between 74% to 76%.

The AHF advocate/shareholders criticized the $28,000 price of Gilead’s
four-in-one AIDS treatment Stribild (Gilead reported $92 million in First
Quarter 2013 sales of Stribild—its second quarter of sales following its FDA
approval last fall) and also raised global AIDS drug access issues to
lifesaving antiretroviral medications worldwide at the meeting, which took
place at the Westin San Francisco Airport Hotel in Millbrae, CA.

In conjunction with the Gilead meeting, the advocates arranged for a giant
mobile billboard with a 20 foot banner of the Gilead logo with letters ‘GREED’
superimposed over Gilead’s name and the URL www.johnmartin-AIDSprofiteer.org
to be continuously driven by the site of Gilead’s AGM at the Westin in Milbrae
and throughout the Foster City neighborhood where Gilead’s headquarters is

“This past year alone, Gilead posted record profits on its AIDS drugs; saw its
market capitalization reach over $80 billion; paid $11 billion in cash to
acquire Pharmasset, giving them a potentially dominant market position in
Hepatitis C without having to do any of the research while John Martin
personally became one of the highest compensated CEOs in the nation,” said Ged
Kenslea, Communications Director for AIDS Healthcare Foundation, who spoke at
the meeting. “Despite all of this, Gilead still refuses to offer meaningful
price concessions on its drugs that will help thousands of new patients access
care and ensure the stability of taxpayer-funded programs Gilead profits so
heavily from. What is it going to take for Gilead to act responsibly on
pricing and finally do the right thing?”

"We have no problem with companies like Gilead doing well. We have a problem
when you are doing too well and not giving enough back when there is still a
global AIDS crisis and people are dying without treatment. Groups like AHF are
obligated to urge you to do more," said Terri Ford, Chief of Global Advocacy
for AIDS Healthcare Foundation, who also spoke at the meeting. "The only way
to conquer AIDS is in triangular attack - government, non-governmental
organizations and the pharmaceutical industry. You are not the enemy. We need
you. You have the magic potion in ARVs. You can be heroes - beyond profit. Be

It has been reported that Gilead intends to recoup its $11 billion purchase of
Pharmasset by charging in excess of $100,000 per year for its new Hepatitis C
drugs. With the network of AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP) and other
government programs already cash-strapped by the record price of Stribild,
such an unseemly push on Hepatitis C drug prices would be disastrous for
patients. The AHF advocate/ shareholders now question whether Gilead plans to
act responsibly on its pricing of Hepatitis C drugs, or will it continue to
push the limits of what taxpayers and the government will be forced to pay?

The sharp increases in AIDS drug costs are fueled by the skyrocketing prices
of each new generation of drugs. By law, ADAP drug prices for existing drugs
cannot increase more than inflation. However, there are no restrictions on the
price charged for new drugs. The companies have exploited this fact,
increasing the price of their new products by tens of thousands of dollars in
order to offset the discounts they must provide to ADAPs and other programs.

This trend could not be clearer: Since 1995, the average price of new AIDS
drugs has increased a whopping 163%.

AHF also placed a newspaper sticky note advertisement of the "Gilead/GREED
John Martin/AIDS profiteer" image (as found on the mobile billboard) on copies
of today's San Francisco Chronicle that was delivered to homes of Chronicle
subscribers in neighborhoods surrounding the company's headquarters in Foster
City, California including Foster City, Burlingame, Millbrae, and Redwood City
in San Mateo County, as well as to subscribers in portions of the city of San

About AHF

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare
provider in the USA. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to
over 200,000 individuals in 28 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin
America/Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Asia. For more information, visit
www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and
follow us on Twitter: @AIDSHealthcare

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:



AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Ged Kenslea
Cell: (323) 791-5526
AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Timothy Boyd
Cell: (213) 590-7375
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