Thursday, December 10, 2015

Activists dressed as Gilead butchers greeted participants at the European Conference on HIV and Hepatitis Coinfection


On the morning of Thursday 10th December 2015, a public action targeted specifically at big pharma profiteering from the lives of people with hepatitis C happened in central London. Activists dressed as Gilead butchers greeted participants as they arrived at the European Conference on HIV and Hepatitis Coinfection

The ACT UP LONDON (2) activists were demanding Gilead and other drug companies drop the prices of the new medicines which can cure hepatitis C. The companies are charging extortionate prices – tens of thousands of pounds for pills that cost just a few hundred pounds to make (3).

Gilead were revealed last week by US congress to have sent internal emails saying “let’s hold our price higher regardless of the uproar.” Kevin Young, Gilead’s executive vice president for commercial operations, wrote to colleagues in November 2013 …”Two sincere requests…Let’s not fold to advocacy pressure in 2014. Let’s hold our position whatever competitors do or whatever the headlines” (4).

Read more here....

December Updates
Reducing the cost of new hepatitis C drugs
An index of articles pointing the reader to the current controversy over the high price of Sovaldi, Harvoni (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir) and AbbVie Viekira Pak.

Also See
Sovaldi Investigation Finds Revenue-Driven Pricing Strategy Behind $84,000 Hepatitis Drug
Dec 1 2015
A report released Tuesday by US Senators Ron Wyden and Charles Grassley claims that Gilead Sciences priced the hepatitis C treatments Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) and Harvoni (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir) with the sole goal of maximising revenue. The report was based on an investigation of 20 000 pages of internal company documents, dozens of interviews with health care experts and data from Medicaid programmes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
“Gilead pursued a calculated scheme for pricing and marketing its Hepatitis C drug based on one primary goal, maximizing revenue, regardless of the human consequences. There was no concrete evidence in emails, meeting minutes or presentations that basic financial matters such as R&D costs or the multi-billion dollar acquisition of Pharmasset, the drug’s first developer, factored into how Gilead set the price....

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