Monday, March 15, 2021 - For years pharmaceutical research and manufacturing companies like Gilead Sciences have made the case for charging exorbitantly high prices for lifesaving drugs. At issue here is the price of Truvada (emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) the best-selling and most effective antiretroviral AIDS management and HIV transmission prevention drug. A one-month supply of the drug costs about $1700, putting it out of reach for all but those with good health insurance coverage. About a year and a half ago, Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day was forced to testify before a group of Congressional Democrats who grilled the company leader about why such a high price was necessary. Congresswoman Cortez claimed that because Truvada was first discovered by scientists using US taxpayer-funded research, that the government was Truvada's rightful patent owner. According to RollCall.com, Cortez said, "There's no reason this should be $2,000 a month. People are dying because of it," the New York Democrat said. "We developed this drug." Gilead CEO O'Day countered by saying his company was responsible for the drug's transformation from being used by people living with AIDS to manage their condition, to it being used by HIV-negative individuals as a prophylactic. Truvada is 99.9 percent effective in stopping the spread of HIV if taken every day, if the patient uses a condom during sex, and if the couple is engaged in a monogamous relationship. Severe side effects like unexpected bone breakage and kidney damage have been reported by those that have taken the drug regularly for many years. Many have filed Truvada Bone Breakage lawsuits against Gilead that allege the company conspired to keep the safer alternative Descovy off of the market until the Truvada patent fully expired. Truvada Bone Breakage attorneys are interviewing individuals that have allegedly been injured by taking Truvada.
The CEO went on to tell members of Congress that the reason that drug prices are so high is that for every one breakthrough drug like Truvada that makes it to market many others fail. The total cost of research and development for those failures must be considered. The billions in profits earned by the company are considered the reward for taking high research and development risks. Lawmakers are not buying CEO O'Day's explanation, and one has filed suit on behalf of taxpayers in his state.
According to KRQE, the attorney general in New Mexico, Hector Balderas, has filed a lawsuit against Gilead Sciences, Inc. Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead Sciences, LLC, and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., claiming that the group conspired to keep the price of Truvada and Descovy high by preventing generic drug competition along with their lower prices, from entering the market. The lawsuits accuse the companies of violating the New Mexico Antitrust Act and New Mexico Unfair Practices Acts. " ... the lawsuit alleges that the defendants engaged in coordinated schemes and anti-competitive agreements to repress the entry of cheaper generic versions of each drug into the market and to hinder the development of safer, more effective treatment drugs as a means to maintain a grip on the market for antiretroviral treatment."
OnderLaw, LLC is a St. Louis personal injury law firm handling serious injury and death claims across the country. Its mission is the pursuit of justice, no matter how complex the case or strenuous the effort. The Onder Law Firm has represented clients throughout the United States in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation such as Pradaxa, Lexapro and Yasmin/Yaz, where the firm's attorneys held significant leadership roles in the litigation, as well as Actos, DePuy, Risperdal and others. The firm has represented thousands of persons in these and other products liability litigation, including DePuy hip replacement systems, which settled for $2.5 billion and Pradaxa internal bleeding, which settled for $650 million. The Onder Law Firm won over $300 million in four talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits in St. Louis to date and other law firms throughout the nation often seek its experience and expertise on complex litigation.