AOC grills pharma exec about why the HIV-prevention drug Prep costs $8 in Australia costs $1,780 in the USA

Gilead makes a drug called Truvada — AKA Prep — that was developed at US taxpayer expense, whose patents are held by the US government; Truvada is on track to eliminating the spread of HIV forever (people who are HIV positive but take Truvada are seemingly not infectious), but taking Truvada in the USA (where the patents haven’t expired) is incredibly expensive, running $1,780/month, whereas in Australia, it’s available as a generic for $8/month.

If the widespread use of Prep eliminates the spread of HIV, it will be both a humanitarian victory and a practical one, with the American taxpayers’ investment in HIV prevention paying off handsomely in the form of billions in medical and social spending saved. But realizing those billions and billions for generations to come can only happen with Gilead doesn’t continue to rack up a sordid little stream of payments to enrich its investors and execs (who did not pay to develop Prep, remember).

.@AOC to Gilead CEO: The list price [for Truvada for PrEP] is almost $2,000 in the US. Why is it $8 in Australia? pic.twitter.com/kPnMQSZE0G

— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) May 16, 2019

We the people developed this drug. We paid for this drug. Despite the fact that the patent is owned by the public, we refuse to enforce it. There is no reason this should be $2,000 a month. People are dying for no reason.

@AOC on Gilead’s price gouging of an HIV prevention drug pic.twitter.com/HSYPivMjGb

— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) May 16, 2019

In this clip, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez demonstrates her usual admirable directness and factual footing to expose the hypocrisy and self-serving bullshit of the looters who are making themselves very rich by destroying the world: in this case, it’s Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day, who smarmily demurs when asked why his company should be able to gouge — and murder — the Americans who paid to develop its products (earning the company $3/b year globally), while Australians get the same products for $8/month.

Ocasio-Cortez confronts CEO for nearly $2K price tag on HIV drug that costs $8 in Australia [Chris Mills Rodrigo/MSNBC]

(via Mitch Wagner)