Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez grills over $ 2,000 HIV drugs at Big Pharma CEO that costs just $ 8 in Australia
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez schedules CEO Big Pharma over $ 2,000 HIV prevention drug that costs just $ 8 in Australia
- Experts say the US could end HIV transfers by 2030 if 1 million Americans were to use the drug
- It is popularly known as PrEP (prophylaxis before exposure) and reduces HIV risk by 99%
- The drug costs $ 1,780 a month in the US, $ 8 in Australia and $ 6 in South Africa
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez led a whim of a pharmaceutical CEO over the $ 2,000 price tag for an HIV prevention drug that costs less than $ 10 in other markets.
Truvada, which reduces the risk of HIV by 99 percent, costs $ 1,780 a month in the US, $ 8 in Australia and $ 6 in South Africa.
Experts say that by 2030 the US could put an end to HIV transfers if 1 million Americans were to use the drug, popularly known as PrEP (prophylaxis before exposure).
But the price has made it inaccessible to many, which in the last four years alone has led to thousands more HIV diagnoses – as Gilead achieves a turnover of $ 3 billion a year.
At a hearing on Thursday, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez demanded Gilead CEO Daniel O & # 39; Day to explain why they would not lower the price.
Ocasio-Cortez asked why the drug would be so expensive because it was developed by research funded by the American taxpayer
& # 39; There is no reason why this should be $ 2,000 a month. People are dying under it and there is no compelling reason for it, & # 39; said Ocasio-Cortez.
O & # 39; Day responded that Truvada is patent protected in the US, unlike the rest of the world.
Generics will be available when the drug gets out of patent in September 2020, at which time Gilead has authorized an Israeli company, Teva, to make a competitive drug.
However, activists say that one competitor is not enough to significantly lower the price.
What's more, recent months have shown that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have patents on PrEP, a drug developed by US taxpayer-funded research, for an amount of approximately $ 50 million.
Gilead CEO Daniel O & Day said Truvada is patent protected in the US, unlike the rest of the world
James Krellenstein, an AIDS activist and co-founder of PrEP4All Collaboration, was the first to be informed of the patent last year after he had written an op-ed in the New York Times call for cheaper PrEP.
He received a call from a scientist at the CDC, who informed him that the government agency has held patents since 2015 and since then 150,000 more Americans have contracted HIV.
An assessment of the patents, independently conducted by Yale University School of Law, confirmed their validity.
Now, while senators question Big Pharma, Krellenstein and other activists ask CDC answers, including protest at a speech given by Dr. CDC Director Robert Redfield.
& # 39; The US government routinely sues companies for patent infringement, routinely challenging generic companies to enforce their patents. And yet they never sued Truvada & # 39 ;, Krellenstein told DailyMail.com.
& # 39; The CDC has given zero reasons why they can be so negligent. & # 39;
DailyMail.com has contacted the CDC for a response.
THE DRUGS SUPPRESSING HIV AND HIV-NEGATIVE PEOPLE TO GET IT
1. Medicines for HIV-positive people
It suppresses their viral load, making the virus non-transferable
Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) was discovered in 1996.
The drug, a triple combination, changed HIV from a fatal diagnosis to a manageable chronic condition.
It suppresses the virus and prevents it from developing into AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), as a result of which the body is not resistant to infections.
After religiously taking the daily pill for six months, it suppresses the virus in such a way that it is not detectable.
And once a person's viral load is undetectable, they cannot transfer HIV to anyone else, according to dozens of studies, including a ten-year study by the National Institutes of Health.
Public health institutions around the world now recognize that U = U (non-detectable equivalent to non-transferable).
2. Medicines for HIV negative people
It is 99% effective in preventing HIV
PrEP (prophylaxis before exposure) became available in 2012.
This pill works as & # 39;the pill & # 39; – it is taken daily and is 99 percent effective in preventing HIV infection (more effective than the birth control pill in preventing pregnancy).
It consists of two medicines (tenofovir dosproxil fumarate and emtricitabine). These drugs can trigger a direct attack on any trace of HIV that enters the person's bloodstream before it can spread through the body.
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