AHF is engaged in an effort to curb HIV drug pricing in this country, and our main target right now is Gilead Sciences. As you know, Gilead assigned its newest antiretroviral therapy, Stribild, a wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) of $28,500 per year. This is absolutely unconscionable. Despite calls from AIDS organizations, members of the community, and 13 members of Congress for Gilead to practice restraint when pricing its new drug, Gilead proceeded to price Stribild at a value that exceeds most HIV patients’ annual income. Stribild is a “me too” drug, similar to Atripla and Complera, whose therapeutic benefits are not clinically superior to Atripla—an efficacious single-tablet regimen that costs less. There has even been indication in some studies that the drug may be more harmful to the kidneys and liver than drugs in other regimens. Stribild’s price is going to have a deleterious impact on federal-state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs, Medicaid and Medicare—not to mention private insurers. It is anticipated that Stribild will become a new first-line therapy, prescribed to many. Increased utilization of this drug will further burden already unsustainable and insolvent systems. This will hamper patient access to the drug and cause wait lists to rise.
AHF is banding together with fellow advocacy organizations and unaffiliated activists to bring on the pressure. Our goal is to get Gilead to lower Stribild’s price and extend rebates and cost savings to all payers. We have had much success in the past through collaboration with groups like yours in getting big PHARMA to bend to the will of the community. I have provided some supplemental material attached to this email about Stribild (formerly the “Quad”) for your review. I believe companies like Gilead will only change when facing the might of AIDS community solidarity.
AHF will provide refreshments.