WASHINGTON (May 4, 2020) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today praised the work of U.S. Representatives Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) for their demand for an accounting of how Gilead Sciences has used public funds to make private profit off government research for the development of remdesivir.
The two members of the U.S. Congress recently wrote a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar asking for an accounting of public expenditures spent and patents applied for in connection with research and development of remdesivir. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given its green light for emergency use of remdesivir for treatment of COVID-19.
“Even though preliminary data doesn’t prove remdesivir is curative and may only help shorten recovery time, Gilead Sciences is maneuvering for a pandemic payday,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AHF, the largest global AIDS organization currently caring for over 1.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS in 45 countries around the globe.
“U.S. taxpayers have been the investors in remdesivir research, originally developed as an Ebola treatment. Public funds at the National Institutes of Health, universities and academic institutions financed experimental trials on remdesivir. The public deserves full disclosure of what government patents have been applied for the in the development of any potential COVID-19 vaccines and treatments,” said Weinstein.
“With the billions of taxpayer dollars flowing to drug companies’ coffers in government subsidies, any treatment or vaccine should be priced at the cost of manufacture. There should be no COVID-19 pandemic price gouging. All public and private research expenditures should be fully disclosed with no government guarantee of an exclusive market,” added Weinstein.