AHF: Gilead Execs Cash Out at Taxpayers’ Expense

  AHF: Gilead Execs Cash Out at Taxpayers’ Expense

  As Gilead Sciences releases what is widely expected to be a heady earnings
 report today, AHF blasts Bay Area drug company for continuing its unbridled
   corporate greed by awarding $8M in bonuses and fat pay raises to senior
executives, several of whom also cashed out over $33M in stock options in the
  past month. Last year, CEO John Martin landed 10^th on Forbes’ List of the
                            highest paid U.S. CEOs

   Gilead’s latest display of out-of-touch greed comes on the heels of the
company pricing its new Hepatitis C treatment, Sovaldi, at $1,000 per pill in
January—$84K for a twelve-week course of treatment—a price that is certain to
  wreak havoc with hard-hit government programs like Medicaid, the V.A. and
                                  Medicare.

Business Wire

LOS ANGELES -- February 4, 2014

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization and a
vocal critic of runaway drug pricing and drug profiteering, today criticized
Gilead Sciences, its CEO John Martin and several senior executives of the
leading HIV/AIDS drug maker for continuing their practice of pillaging U.S.
taxpayers as a means to fund the company’s unbridled corporate gluttony. AHF’s
condemnation comes as Gilead Sciences releases what is widely expected to be a
heady earnings report today.

Over the past several days, the Bay Area drug company awarded $8 million in
bonuses and fat pay raises to senior executives, several of whom also cashed
out over $33 million in stock options in the past month. Last year, CEO John
Martin landed 10^th on Forbes’ List of the highest paid U.S. CEOs—all
executives, not just pharmaceutical company executives.

Gilead’s latest display of out-of-touch greed comes on the heels of the
company’s January pricing of its new Hepatitis C treatment, Sovaldi
(sofosbuvir), at $1,000 per pill—$84K for a twelve-week course of
treatment—1,100% more than Gilead’s most expensive AIDS drug, Stribild ($80
per-pill or $28,500 per-patient, per year), it’s four-in-one AIDS drug
combination.

“Gilead continues its bet that the sky is the limit on drug pricing, a move
that has bankrolled an amazing—and very disheartening—show of insatiable
corporate gluttony,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare
Foundation. “Like Icarus, who flew too close to the sun and lost his wings,
Gilead keeps reaching higher and higher, or deeper and deeper into the pockets
of U.S. taxpayers, fleecing them by pricing its drugs at such astronomical
levels. They do so knowing full well that the largest single purchaser of
drugs in the U.S. is the government, and by selling to programs like Medicaid,
Medicare and the V.A., Gilead, and other drug companies, they complete a
vicious, ongoing circle: unbridled corporate greed at the expense of
taxpayers' wallets. It is widely known that in ways large and small, the
government funds the bulk of drug research done in this country. However,
private companies like Gilead often–and oftentimes legally—wrestle patents and
control away, then sell their patented drugs back to the government. And while
drug companies offer rebates or discounts to these government programs, they
do so on prices that have been set so high initially—like $1,000 a pill for
Gilead's Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi—as to make the whole process a sham or shell
game. When will taxpayers and government officials realize that enough is
enough and fight back against Gilead and other drug makers who perpetuate this
circle of greed?”

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization,
currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 279,756
individuals in 32 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
Ged Kenslea, AHF Communications Director
Telephone: 323-308-1833
Mobile: 323-791-5526
gedk@aidshealth.org
 
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