Monday, July 1, 2019 - When a drug company's patent for a drug expires their market share can be eroded immediately by generic brands that will sell the exact same product at a fraction of the cost. Drug companies justify the exorbitant price of their drugs as a necessary incentive for companies to be willing to take on the risks and costs inherent in drug development. A common strategy that is used by pharmaceutical companies that own the patent to a best-selling drug is to make sure they have a next-generation product ready to replace it when the patent expires. Also, drug companies in the past have been charged with deploying unscrupulous and often illegal marketing tactics in order to incentivize pharmacists to re-fill patient prescriptions with their replacement drug prior to the expiration of the previous patent. This practice can have numerous adverse consequences to patients that are left in the dark as to the side effects of the replacement drug that they do not even know they are being given. And the opposite can be true also. A drug company may keep a more-effective and safer replacement drug off of the market in order to extend the sales of its current best-seller. Such might be the case with the drugs Truvada and its replacement Descovy. Truvada attorneys have a long track record of success in winning cases against multinational pharmaceutical conglomerates and achieving justice on behalf of American families harmed by negligence and corporate greed. Our expert Truvada lawyers have seen the aftereffects of numerous drug recalls, and have won significant compensation for our clients.
Gilead Sciences is under suspicion by the US Congress for possibly cutting a behind-the-scenes deal with the Trump Administration to secure that Truvada's expiring 2021 patent will be seamlessly transferred to Descovy. Gilead earns over $3 billion per year on Truvada, a drug that has a $20,000 annual price tag in the US. Descovy may have been deliberately kept off of the market until now in order to maximize Truvada's profits.
The event in question by Congress is Gilead's agreeing to supply approximately 200,000 bottles of the daily drug to individuals that wish to try and prevent transference of HIV by their sexual partner. The drug will be given away over a 10-12 year period rather than made available immediately in unlimited quantities as Congress feels it should be. As Truvada goes off patent in 2021, Truvada will be replaced with Descovy in the giveaway, ensuring a smooth transition for Gilead's replacement HIV drug. Gilead has filed with the FDA to have Descovy's approval fast-tracked in order to prepare for the transition from Truvada.
According to The Washington Post, the Gilead/Trump deal is being investigated by the House Oversight Committee headed by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) who has "demanded emails and other information from Gilead about negotiations that led to Gileadís pledge to donate free doses of the drug for President Trump's effort to eradicate HIV by 2030." Cummings and other democrat lawmaker are concerned that there may have been a quid pro quo deal struck where the current administration agreed to squash attempts to challenge Gilliads's exclusive ownership of the Truvada patent and justification of the exorbitant price in exchange for Gillead providing the free medicine. Members of the House Committee including Alexandria Cortiz feel that the US is entitled to own Truvada's patent since government guaranteed funding for HIV research led to the drug's discovery and development.
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.