Friday, June 14, 2019 - Truvada is the brand name for antiretroviral medicines tenofovir and emtricitabine considered throughout medical circles to be a highly effective pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) HIV prophylactic drug. The drug is proven to be effective 92% of the time if it is taken regularly as directed. Truvada, manufactured by Gilead Pharmaceuticals, is seen as potentially being able to end the HIV epidemic that has plagued the US for the past fifty or so years, so much so that the Trump administration has reached a deal with the Gilead's CEO Daniel O'Day to give it away for free over the next ten to fifteen years. The company has been called out for making excess profits by Democrats on Capitol Hill that claim that Gilead has a responsibility to give it away for free or at least as cheaply as possible, to as many people that need and want it right away. Congresswoman Alexandria Ortiz-Cortez says that the drug is actually owned by the US government as the government subsidized the drug's development to a great degree. Day countered in Congressional testimony that without an unlimited profit potential there would not be an incentive for private industry to take the risks necessary to develop the drug in the first place. The Trump plan is an attempt at a compromise between the company and government interests. Truvada kidney failure lawsuits handled by top national attorneys offer families and individuals a free consultation before filing a claim.
In spite of its effectiveness and promise, there has been difficulty getting the drug to those who need it the most, lower income and uninsured individuals. The drug currently costs an obscene amount of money... $20,000 per year.
Hyman Scott and Paul Volberding, HIV researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and authors in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) a peer-reviewed medical published by the American Medical Association. Their research into the HIV epidemic has found, according to an article in NPR.org that, "The gap between indication and use is most pronounced among black and Latino men who have sex with men. Currently, less than 10% of individuals with an indication for PrEP are receiving this medication." The current task force is looking for Congress to help in making the drug more accessible by expanding insurance coverage for people in high-risk groups and cannot afford the $1,200 per month price tag. The group is also trying to educate lower-income people of the risks of having unprotected sex with unknown partners by having "primary care clinicians engage in offering PrEP to their high-risk patients."
According to the National Institute of Health, the number of new HIV infections continue at epidemic proportions. "Despite major advances in antiretroviral treatment and chemoprophylaxis, 50,000 infections occur in the United States and 2 million new HIV infections occur globally each year." Truvada needs to be taken daily and condoms used in order to be effective. Side effects of Truvada include causing osteoporosis, a weakening of bone density, that can lead to fractures, and kidney failure and renal damage.
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