Tuesday, October 1, 2019 - Details of the government's Truvada giveaway program are few and far between, however, experts are already predicting the program's failure to stop the spread of HIV. All we know is that starting in 2020, Truvada's maker, Gilead Sciences, has pledged to make 2.4 million bottles of the drug available every year for the next decade for individuals who are HIV negative and want to stay that way. It is argued that the number of bottles in the free program is about one-tenth to one-fifth of the amount of the drug needed and the program amounts to little more than a free marketing campaign for Gilead. Gilead intends to discontinue Truvada and seamlessly replace it with Descovy, another PrEP drug the company manufacturers sometime in 2020 when Truvada's patent expires. Descovy is said to be safer than Truvada which is a good thing. Gilead is being sued by around 20,000 individuals in a California class action that contends that Truvada caused them to develop osteoporosis leading to broken bones. Some plaintiffs also complain that they have had kidney failure and other renal problems that stemmed from taking Truvada. Plaintiffs are also concerned that their long-term usages of Truvada may have caused their side effects to be permanent and irreversible. Critics of the free giveaway also fear Descovy will continue to cost upwards of $20000 per year or more and keep millions on uninsured individuals from being able to afford treatment. Lawsuits ask why Gilead, knowing that Descovy was a safer alternative, chose to keep it off of the market for so long. Also, Gilead reached an agreement to license Truvada to Israel's Teva Pharmaceuticals starting in September of 2020. Experts think that the generic drug will do little to increase competition and will not put a dent in the price of the drug. Truvada lawsuits represented by top national attorneys offer a no obligation and free consultation.
Investigative journalists at Reuters.com are of the opinion that not enough is being done to get the limited number of dosages of Truvada to those that need the drug the most, teenage black and Latino gay men and women who at the greatest risk of having risky sex and many do not even know that a preventative pill is available. Experts think that the laws need to be changed so that Truvada is sold over the counter and also given for free to teenagers in middle and high school without requiring parental consent. Having to be "outed" as such by asking one's parents for permission to take the drug keeps millions of young adults from seeking the pill.
If the Gilead Truvada giveaway program fails to address young gay black and Latino men, The US will continue to remain far behind other countries that have declared a public health crisis and nationalized the production of PrEP medication. Australia is showing a 33% decline in the first year since offering Truvada to all who need it regardless of age or economic ability.
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