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AHF Calls on Gilead for Major Price Cut on PrEP Drug Descovy Following FDA Approval

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Next-generation HIV prevention pill, which has fewer toxic side effects than Gilead’s inferior prior drug, Truvada, was approved by the FDA Thursday for use as pre-exposure prophylaxis.

Both drugs cost about $1,800 a month per patient. AHF cites the billions of dollars Gilead has already made on its roster of HIV/AIDS drugs as well as its willful promotion and sales of Truvada, the more toxic earlier form of the drug, (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) that causes permanent kidney and bone damage.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today is calling on Gilead Sciences Inc., one of the largest manufacturers of HIV/AIDS drugs, for a major price reduction on its HIV/AIDS treatment medication Descovy, the drug company’s fixed-dose combination of emtricitabine (FTC) and tenofovir alafenamide (TAF), for its use now also as pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP to prevent HIV acquisition in uninfected individuals.

AHF’s request comes following the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval Thursday of Descovy, Gilead’s popular and effective fixed-dose combination treatment for those already living with HIV/AIDS, for use as pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP by men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women to prevent HIV acquisition.

As part of its rationale for the pricing request, AHF cited the billions of dollars Gilead has already made on its roster of HIV/AIDS medications. It also noted Gilead’s willful promotion and extensive sales of an earlier, far more toxic, formulation of the drug component known as tenofovir disoproxil fumarate or TDF—a medication proven to cause permanent damage to the kidneys and bones.

TDF is a key drug used for treatment of patients with HIV and AIDS and is also used (under the brand name, Truvada—TDF and emtricitabine) by uninfected individuals as part of the HIV prevention strategy known as PrEP. However, the medication causes damage, sometimes permanent and sometimes fatal to the kidneys and bones.

“Now that it has FDA approval for the wider use of Descovy as PrEP to prevent HIV acquisition, AHF is calling on Gilead to drastically cut the cost of this medication,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AHF. “Aside from the countless billions Gilead has already made off of its HIV/AIDS treatment medications, Gilead must atone for its deliberate suppression of TAF from patients over the past decade or more simply in order to maximize its profits and extend sales of its more harmful TDF-based medications. As a result, people have been grievously harmed—many, suffering permanent kidney and bone damage—by Gilead’s greed and pursuit of the almighty dollar. Gilead should really do the right thing now and significantly cut the price Descovy.”

Gilead earned over $18 billion in net profit in 2015.

About AIDS Healthcare Foundation

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.3 million individuals in 43 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

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