Committee Democrats Seek Documents From Gilead on HIV Prevention Drug

Jun 27, 2019
Press Release

 

Washington, D.C. (June 27, 2019)— Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, Rep. Ro Khanna, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rep. Ayanna Pressley sent a letter to Gilead Sciences seeking information about patents held by the federal government for the HIV prevention therapy known as Truvada for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

“Gilead has taken the position that the government’s patents are not valid,” the Members wrote.  “We would like to understand whether these patents played any role in the negotiations between the company and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and whether Gilead has otherwise engaged in negotiations with the U.S. government regarding these patents.”

On May 16, 2019, Daniel O’Day, Gilead’s Chairman and CEO, testified at a hearing before the Committee that:

 

  • “If we had lowered the price of our medicines even a decade ago, we wouldn't be sitting here today with the innovations that are changing the face of HIV/AIDS.”

 

  • Gilead’s patient access programs and donation of Truvada to the CDC ensure that “price doesn't get in the way during this period of time of patent exclusivity.”

 

  • The amount of Gilead’s donation to the CDC “was requested and discussed with the CDC,” and it is a “reasonable assumption” that Gilead would have donated more if the CDC had requested a larger quantity of PrEP.

During the hearing, expert witnesses testified about the critical role played by the federal government—and the American taxpayers—in funding the research that led to PrEP and its patents registered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gilead charges approximately $2,000 per month for Truvada, while generic PrEP is available for as little as $210 per month in other countries.

The Members requested that the company produce these documents by July 25, 2019.

Click here to read the letter.

 

 
116th Congress