I Cannot Find the Evil Here

Gilead Sciences has been sued by the US government for violating HHS patents with its HIV preventative drugs. (Truvada and Descovy)

Considering the fact that their drugs costs $1800.00/month in the US, and $8.00 in Australia, going after the price gougers at Gilead is an unalloyed good, but it’s the Trump administration, so I’m trying to figure out how they got here.

There has to be some sort of corruption or evil behind this.

A rift between the Centers for Disease Control and pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences ruptured further Wednesday when the Trump administration sued Gilead in U.S. District Court, asserting that Gilead made billions of dollars on HIV prevention therapy while repeatedly ignoring government patents.

The patent infringement case against a major drug company, coming at a time of increasing political anger over drug prices, signals a shift in a relationship that typically has been collaborative. The San Francisco-based company has worked for years with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to fight HIV, including providing free drugs for government experiments, as well as efforts to expand treatment of hepatitis C.

But the lawsuit filed on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services this week describes how, beginning in 2015, Gilead repeatedly refused to recognize CDC patents for an HIV prevention called Truvada for PrEP.

“Gilead has repeatedly refused to obtain a license from CDC to use the patented regimens,’’ the government said in its lawsuit, filed by the Justice Department in federal court in Delaware. “Meanwhile, Gilead has profited from research funded by hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Indeed, Gilead has reaped billions from PrEP . . . but has not paid any royalties to CDC.’’

If I were directing CDC of HHS policy, I would not be asking for royalties, I’d be demanding price controls as a condition for the license.

It would save a lot more money than any royalty scheme.

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