Corporate welfare spurs Gilead’s record profits on AIDS drugs

In Advocacy, News by AHF


According to Investor’s Business Daily, Gilead Sciences (GILD) was one of the top 100 S&P gainers for November, 2012; AIDS advocates decry AIDS drug profiteering by Gilead and CEO John Martin, noting that record earnings come on the heels of Gilead’s release of its newest drug, Stribild, a four-in-one AIDS tablet which the company priced at $28,500 per patient per year—the most expensive first line HIV/AIDS therapy today

WASHINGTON (December 3, 2012) Advocates from AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today criticized Gilead Sciences and its CEO John Martin on the news that the company landed on Standard & Poor’s top 100 gainers list for November, 2012 shortly after scoring record profits in its 2012 third quarter. According to a Cabot Investing Newsletters news item, “Gilead Sciences (GILD) was one of the top S&P 100 gainers list for November, Investor’s Business Daily reported. The S&P 100 index includes the very biggest U.S. companies — the largest market cap stocks in the broader S&P 500. Megacaps often offer slower gains, but Gilead was a big winner last month.”

An earlier Reuters news item from late October noted, “Gilead’s third-quarter sales of HIV drug Atripla rose 9 percent to $865.4 million, which was short of the $876 million expected by analysts, according to numbers published by BMO Capital Markets. Sales of HIV drug Truvada rose 8 percent to $804.2 million, beating analysts’ estimate of $762 million.” The article also noted that third quarter revenue was up 14% overall to $2.43 billion, as the company also raised its full year sales forecast to $9.2 billion.

“The record profits for Gilead Sciences that continue to roll in are based largely on the company’s historic pattern and practice of AIDS drug price gouging and the corporate welfare showered on Gilead by government programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and the V.A. as well as private insurers,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “This is about as clear an example of AIDS drug profiteering as one can get. Gilead, under CEO John Martin, scored record profits in the third quarter by gouging hard-hit government programs and private insurers with incredibly high prices that do not reflect the reality of the R&D involved in developing these lifesaving drugs nor the actual costs to manufacture them. As tax dollars pay for most of these drugs, we continue our call on Gilead to expand price concessions on Stribild and its other AIDS drugs to other programs including Medicaid, Medicare, private insurers and other payers.”

Stribild, Gilead’s new four-in-one AIDS treatment combination, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in early September and immediately priced by Gilead at $28,500 per patient, per year, Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC). That price was over 35% more than Atripla, the company’s best selling combination HIV/AIDS treatment, and made Stribild the highest priced first line combination AIDS therapy today.

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