Official Statement responding to Gilead Sciences’ announcement that it will allow Teva to Manufacture a Generic Version of Truvada

Aaron S. Lord, MD issued the following statement to Gilead Sciences’ announcement that allow a single generic version of Truvada a year early:

While Gilead’s announcement that generic Truvada will be made available in the United States a year early is a victory for the LGBTQ+ community, for HIV activists, and for U.S. taxpayers, this should only be the beginning. Even their announcement today leaves Gilead with exclusive rights to Truvada as PrEP for another 15 months and Teva as the only generic manufacturer on the U.S. market. This will do little to reduce the price in a way that will increase access and PrEP4All remains suspicious of the terms and lack of transparency surrounding the Teva settlement. I have to ask, what’s to stop them–other than a desire for profit margins–from releasing the rights now?

Furthermore, Gilead’s statement today that the agreement to allow Teva to manufacture a generic a year early was made in 2014 runs afoul of statements made to shareholders by their former CEO John F. Milligan on their Q2 2017 earnings call. In that call, he said, ‘we don’t expect generic Truvada in the United States until 2021.’ If this agreement was made in 2014, why did he lie to shareholders?

U.S. taxpayers paid for the development of this drug, yet it’s far too expensive for the people who need it most. Gilead currently prices at between $1,600 and $2,000 for a month’s supply of a pill that can be manufactured for a fraction of that amount. We must make sure that every one who needs it can get it.

Finally, the CDC must use the billions of dollars that the American people overpaid to create a national HIV prevention program, aimed at breaking down structural and systemic barriers that prevent the most at-risk communities from accessing the medication. Additionally, the CDC must use its significant leverage to ensure that generic Truvada is available at a price affordable to everyone in this country.

The PREP4ALL Collaboration is a group of activists of diverse backgrounds, dedicated to ensuring wider access to life-saving drugs like PrEP and ending the HIV epidemic. For additional information about the PREP4ALL Collaboration and its campaign to ensure access to PrEP, visit www.breakthepatent.org.