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AHF: Gilead’s $1,000 Hepatitis C Pill Target of SF, NYC Protests Feb.12th

  AHF: Gilead’s $1,000 Hepatitis C Pill Target of SF, NYC Protests Feb.12th      Wednesday, Feb 12^th drug pricing protests target Gilead over price of Sovaldi, its new Hepatitis C drug: $84,000 for a twelve week supply—or $1,000                                   per pill!    *New York City Protest—12pm to 1pm, Leerink Swann Global Healthcare     Conference, Waldorf Astoria Hotel, 301 Park Ave, NY, NY 10022   *San Francisco Protest March—12pm to 1pm, March from SF City Hall to the     Federal Building  Business Wire  NEW YORK -- February 12, 2014  Advocates from AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the nation’s largest HIV/AIDS nonprofit medical provider, is spearheading two protests in New York City and San Francisco on Wednesday February 12th at 12 noon in each city targeting Gilead Sciences over the price of Sovaldi (sofosbuvir), its new Hepatitis C drug. The drug, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in early December, was immediately priced by Gilead at $84,000 Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC) for a twelve-week supply of the drug—or $1,000 per pill.                                WHAT:             NEW YORK DRUG PRICING PROTEST/Gilead Sciences’ $1K Hepatitis                   pill                    WHEN:             WEDNESDAY, Feb. 12,                     12:00 – 1:00pm                   2014                                       EASTERN Time                    WHERE:            Leerink Swann Global Healthcare Conf., Waldorf Astoria                   Hotel, 301 Park Ave, NYC 10022                    WHO:              Jessica Reinhart, Senior Grassroots Community Manager, AHF                   Michael Camacho, MPH, NYC Regional Director, AHF                   And 15-20 drug pricing advocates & protesters with                   “Gilead-Outrage!” banners, signs and face masks                    NY CONTACT:    Jessica Reinhart, Senior Grassroots Community Manager, AHF                   +1 (323) 203-6146.                    WHAT:             SAN FRANCISCO DRUG PRICING PROTEST MARCH/Gilead Sciences’                   $1K pill                    WHEN:             WEDNESDAY, Feb. 12,                        12:00 – 1:00pm                   2014                                       PACIFIC Time                    WHERE:            Marching FROM:                   San Francisco CITY HALL, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place,                   S.F., CA 94102                   Marching TO:                   San Francisco FEDERAL BUILDING, 90 7^th Street (corner                   Mission & 7^th) S. F., CA 94103                    WHO:              Jesse Brooks, Regional Advocacy Consultant                   Dale R. Gluth, Bay Area Regional Director, AHF                   And 15-20 drug pricing advocates & protesters with                   “Gilead-Outrage!” banners, signs and face masks                    SF CONTACT:    Jesse Brooks, Regional Advocacy Consultant (510) 575-8245.                     “Gilead’s $84,000 drug Sovaldi is only one portion of a two drug, twelve-week combination treatment for Hepatitis C, which affects and estimated 3.2 million people in the United States. The two-drug combo pushes treatment to well over $100,000 per patient—a price point that is simply not sustainable,” said Jessica Reinhart, Senior Grassroots  Community Manager, for AHF, in anticipation of the New York protest held during the Leerink Swann Global Healthcare Conference at the Waldorf Astoria Wednesday February 12^th. “Gilead’s history of predatory pricing on its lifesaving medications—first on its HIV drugs, and now, for this new hepatitis medication—sets the stage for protests like ours as well as for direct action from government officials and drug purchasers for government programs seeking to compel Gilead to cut its outrageous pricing. We also want to let the financial industry know that we are not going to simply stand by and watch this price gouging.”  “In addition to protesting the pricing of Sovaldi, our protests will serve as a reminder of Gilead’s previous bad deeds in its pricing and policies,” said Dale R. Gluth, Bay Area Regional Director for AHF in anticipation of the San Francisco protest march from City Hall to the Federal Building set for Wednesday February 12^th. “In late 2012, within days of FDA-approval of Gilead’s four-in-one AIDS treatment combination Stribild, the company immediately priced that treatment at $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. For the record, $28,500 is more than most U.S. AIDS patients earn in any given year!”  “For Gilead, we have outrage, pure and simple,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “There can be no better example of the unbridled greed of the pharmaceutical industry than Gilead’s latest move: pricing its new hepatitis drug at $28,000 per 28-tablet bottle or $1,000 per pill! Gilead’s predatory pricing of Sovaldi is a direct threat to public heath, and it sets the stage for legislators and advocates to demand that officials who purchase drugs for government programs like Medicaid, Medicare and the AIDS Drug Assistance Programs act decisively to rein in pricing and protect patient access to lifesaving medications.”  Gilead did not even pay to research and develop Sovaldi. In 2011—for $11 billion in cash—it purchased Pharmasset, the company that had already developed the drug. Advocates now believe the pricing of Sovaldi is being driven by Gilead’s desire to recoup its financial investment in Pharmasset, and assumes it can accomplish this by charging Medicaid and other taxpayer-funded programs whatever it wants.  AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 282,000 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:  NEW YORK AIDS Healthcare Foundation Jessica Reinhart Sr. Grassroots Community Mgr. Cell: +1-323-203-6146 Jessica.reinhart@aidshealth.org or SAN FRANCISCO AIDS Healthcare Foundation Jesse Brooks Regional Advocacy Consultant Cell +1-510-575-8245 Jesse.brooks@aidshealth.org pr LOS ANGELES AIDS Healthcare Foundation Ged Kenslea Senior Director, Communications +1-323-308-1833 [work] +1-323-791-5526 [cell] gedk@aidshealth.org