You have to admit; this was solid questioning by the freshmen representative from New York.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez confronted Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day on Thursday for pricing a drug designed to reduce the risk of HIV transmission at close to 2,000 a month here in the U.S. where it is only $8 in Australia.
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) May 16, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez: You’re the CEO of Gilead. Is it true that Gilead made $3 billion in profits from Truvada in 2018?
Daniel O’Day: – $3 billion in revenue,”
Ocasio-Cortez: The current list price is $2,000 a month in the United States, correct?
Daniel O’Day: It’s $1,780 in the United States
Ocasio-Cortez: Why is it $8 in Australia?
Daniel O’Day: Truvada still has patent protection in the United States and in the rest of the world it is generic. It will be generically available in the United States as of September 2020.
Ocasio-Cortez: I think it’s important here that we notice that we the public, we the people, developed this drug. We paid for this drug, we lead and developed all the patents to create Prep and then that patent has been privatized despite the fact that the patent is owned by the public, who refused to enforce it.”
“There’s no reason this should be $2,000 a month. People are dying because of it and there’s no enforceable reason for it.”
I don’t believe their figures. They don’t have to build new buildings and buy all new equipment every time they develop a drug. They work the cost backward from the market price they want to charge.
I will give AOC a kudos on this line of questioning because higher drug costs affect all Americans and if this HIV drug can help those in need, charging an arm and leg for it over here only shows you the greed these companies will sink to to make a buck.