The Trump administration recently filed a patent infringement lawsuit against the manufacturer of Truvada, a medicine that helps with the prevention and spread of HIV.
Science will need to answer the complaint the administration brought
forth after the administration alleges the company is profiting off
the work of researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and
of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Gilead should
respect the patent system put in place, and acknowledge the taxpayer
contributions that led to the creation of the drugs. He said the
complaint was filed to make sure the company respects the work done.
to the HHS, Gilead knowingly infringed on the department’s patents.
The agency said Gilead has made money off the research the taxpayers
help to fund, bringing in billions of dollars from the PrEP drugs via
Truvada and Descovy.
the government had been working toward an agreement with the company,
Gilead had frequently refused to attain a license for any HHS
administration’s action comes after The Washington Post reported on
the stalemate between the CDC, National Institutes of Health and
Gilead over the Truvada patent. According to the report, researchers
and activists were growing increasingly aggravated with the lack of
government action on the manufacturer’s defiance, even though it
won patents back in 2015.
disputes the government’s patents, saying it filed a formal
challenge to them in August.
to HIV activists, the move the government has taken is the first to
ensure Truvada for PrEP is more accessible to everyone.
is one key in eradicating HIV and AIDS by 2030, which was the
administration’s goal. However, the drug cost $20,000 a year –
something public health officials and activists have complained
loudly about. Gilead made $3 billion in Truvada sales alone in 2018.
4All Collaboration said Gilead has been price gouging the drug for at
least 10 years, making it inaccessible to hundreds of thousands of
Americans even though it’s a taxpayer-funded invention.
HHS really wants to end the HIV epidemic, it can use the patents for
leverage to make sure everybody who needs PrEP will be able to use
prevention use for HIV was discovered in the mid-2000s by scientists
at the CDC.
In Gilead’s challenge, it said independent researchers had come up with the idea of Truvada being used as a prevention method for HIV before the CDC applied for the patent.
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