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Foundation Criticizes Price Hikes on AIDS Drugs

Increases average 6% for key medications (Jan. 10)

Advocates at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif., have criticized Gilead Sciences on the news that effective January 1st, the company raised the price of eight drugs, including four key AIDS medications.

According to a recent advisory from the financial and investment firm Cowen & Company, “third party sources” reported that the cost of Gilead’s bestselling three-in-one AIDS drug Atripla (efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir) increased by 6.9% to a wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) of $1,878.23 per patient per month; Complera (emtricitabine, rilpivirine, and tenofovir) by 5.8% to a WAC of $1,936.53; Emtriva (emtricitabine) by 5.5% to a WAC of $478.45; and Viread (tenofovir) by 6.0% to a WAC of $771.39.

“The fact that Gilead is starting the new year off with price hikes averaging 6% on these four key HIV/AIDS medications does not bode well for AIDS patients and the programs and insurers that serve and care for them,” said AHF president Michael Weinstein. “As tax dollars ultimately pay for most of these drugs, we continue to ask Gilead to show restraint in its drug pricing, particularly for programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, private insurers, and other payers.”

Gilead has long been one of the most profitable pharmaceutical companies and produces many of the most widely prescribed HIV/AIDS drugs.

The AHF, founded in 1987, is the largest provider of HIV/AIDS medical care in the U.S.

Source: AIDS Healthcare Foundation; January 10, 2013.

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