POINT. The federal government should sue Gilead to enforce its patents on PrEP and lower the price of the treatment.
I am impressed by the fact that Gilead Sciences did two things: They accelerated the patent expiration date for Truvada (emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) from 2021 to 2020, giving the rights away for approximately the first 6 months of the sale of generic Truvada to another company. However, that is oftentimes not a good way to get medication prices lowered. Because the company has exclusivity for a period, they will sometimes keep the price somewhat high, and the cost remains a barrier. The fact that Gilead has gone one step further and committed to give free Truvada for up to 200,000 people per year for 10 years is another great step in the right direction. My concern about that program is that Gilead already has a free assistance program that people apply for if they have no insurance or financial means to cover the cost of Truvada. Then, they are given the medication for free. That program requires not a small amount of administrative oversight, meaning that someone has to run the program to document that the individuals applying are in fact uninsured and at a certain annual income level.
This activity is supported by an educational grant from Merck & Co., Inc.
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