AHF Supports Price Cut on New AIDS Drug, Prods Gilead to Expand Cut to Other Program

In Advocacy, News by AHF

Pricing agreement between Gilead and the ADAP Crisis Task Force (ACTF) on company’s new four-in-one AIDS tablet for nation’s hard-hit AIDS Drug Assistance Programs, “…does not go far enough”

AHF urges Gilead to also lower the price of Stribild for Medicaid, Medicare private insurers and other payors, and to also greatly increase the transparency on such negotiations

WASHINGTON (September 6, 2012)AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today announced its support for an agreement by Gilead Sciences, maker of several key AIDS drugs, including Stribild, its new four-in-one combination that was recently approved by the FDA and priced at $28,500 per patient, per year, Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC), that will now result in significant price concessions and discounts on the drug for the nation’s beleaguered AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs), the federally funded, state run programs that supply lifesaving AIDS drugs to low-income Americans in need. The agreement was reached between Gilead and the ADAP Crisis Task Force (ACTF) of the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) and was formally announced earlier today in a press statement by NASTAD.

According the NASTAD’s statement, the ADAP Crisis Task Force, “…reached a new pricing agreement with Gilead Sciences, Inc. for AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) for Stribild™, the newly approved four-drug combination pill containing elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disproxil fumarate for the treatment of HIV-1 infected treatment-naïve individuals.  The agreed-upon ADAP direct purchase price for Stribild™ negotiated between the ACTF and Gilead is substantially lower than the wholesale acquisition cost (WAC), reflecting voluntary discounts that are also significantly below the mandated 340B pricing of the medication.”

“After pricing Stribild at the astronomical amount of $28,500 per year, Gilead’s action today will no doubt make the medication more affordable and accessible for hard-hit state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs and the thousands of people who rely on ADAPs for access to the lifesaving antiretroviral AIDS treatments these programs provide,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “However, the price was simply too high to start with and this cut is not shared widely enough with other struggling programs. We urge Gilead to immediately expand the price concessions on Stribild to Medicaid, Medicare, private insurers and other payors, while also asking that Gilead—and groups like the ADAP Crisis Task Force—greatly increase the transparency on such drug price negotiations. This secrecy leaves us, AIDS patients, medical providers and others in the dark, something that we believe is totally inappropriate when tax dollars pay for most of these drugs.”

In its news release on the price concessions, the ADAP Crisis Task Force also noted:

“While pleased with the ADAP price of Stribild™, the ACTF acknowledges the disappointment and controversy within the larger HIV community about the $28,500 annual WAC price.  Setting the price of Stribild™ above Atripla™ and the only integrase inhibitor regimen previously approved, despite being less than several protease inhibitor based regimens, may have implications for costs outside of ADAP, including:

·       It sets a higher price level that may be used by other HIV manufacturers introducing new HIV drugs;

·       It may increase costs to the HIV health care system in general during a time when health care costs are rising rapidly; and

·       It may result in higher out-of-pocket costs for some patients who pay a co-insurance or co-pay based on a percent of the WAC.  Gilead’s decision to increase co-pay assistance limits should help mitigate some of these higher out-of-pocket costs for patients.”

Over the past three months, AIDS advocates from AHF and other groups spearheaded a campaign urging John C. Martin, CEO of Gilead not to decimate ADAP and other drug programs by pricing its latest HIV/AIDS drug combination, now known as Stribild, higher than Gilead’s Atripla, currently the most prescribed HIV/AIDS medication. Earlier in the summer and at AHF’s request, a group of U.S. Congress members led by Congress member Alcee Hastings (D, FL) wrote to Mr. Martin telling him that they are “troubled” by media reports indicating Gilead may charge may charge thousands more than existing AIDS drugs for Stribild, which was then known as the ‘Quad.’ In the letter, the Congress members also urged Gilead “…to consider sustainable pricing strategies for its products that would help allow ADAP to provide treatment to as many individuals as possible.” In addition, California Treasurer Bill Lockyer and California Controller John Chiang each wrote letters to Mr. Martin urging that he and Gilead show restraint in pricing its newest AIDS drug.


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About AIDS Healthcare Foundation

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 176,000 individuals in 27 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. Please address any directions regarding the Institute to:  [email protected] or call 323.860.5200.

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