AHF Protest: Gilead Destroys Rx Safety Net for its Own Profit

Gilead Protest, Thursday, May 5th, 12:00 pm Foster City, CA

In March, Gilead imposed conditions illegally restricting access on 340B drug pricing to its branded hepatitis C treatments when covered entities use outside contract pharmacies.  Gilead has the ignominious distinction of being the 15th manufacturer to place similar unlawful restrictions on certain 340B contract pharmacy programs

SAN FRANCISCO (May 3, 2022) On Thursday, May 5th  AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, will host a “Greediad” protest starting at 12:00 p.m. PT in front of the headquarters of Gilead Sciences  (333 Lakeside Dr., Foster City, CA 94404) over the drug company’s latest—and illegal—move to undermine safety net providers’ access to 340B program benefits.

WHAT:            Gilead—”Greediad!”—Drug Access Protest  

WHEN:                    THURSDAY, May 5, 2022, 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. PACIFIC Time

WHERE:                    In front of:

Gilead Sciences, Inc. Headquarters

333 Lakeside Dr., Foster City, CA 94404

WHO:                        15- 20 drug advocates & protesters with “Greediad” banners and signs

CONTACTS:               Jesse Brooks, AHF Bay Area Advocacy Mobilizer, +1.510.575.8245 mobile [email protected]

The 340B drug pricing program is administered by the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA). It has helped provide low-cost medications and better health outcomes for millions of Americans and the nonprofit clinics and hospitals that serve them. Safety net providers like Ryan White providers who serve patients living with HIV have the right under the 340B statute to purchase drugs for their patients at a discounted price.  Last week, Gilead put profits before patients by unilaterally imposing unlawful conditions on when and how it will give discounts for certain Hepatitis C drugs.

“The 340B statute gives providers the undeniable legal right to access discounted drugs for their patients.  Drug manufacturers like Gilead have no right to place conditions on this access – but they constantly try to devise new ways to do so,” said Patty Bermudez, MBA, Senior Regional Director, AHF Western Region. “Gilead’s recent move hurts safety net providers that do not have their own in-house pharmacy, but instead rely on outside pharmacies to make drugs available to their patients.  Now, Gilead says it will only grant these providers access to discounts if they turn over sensitive data about the providers’ patients.  Providers who don’t submit this data are shut out – contrary to the letter and spirit of the 340B program. Gilead’s actions here are unlawful and unconscionable and they must be held accountable.”

According to a recent 340B Report (March 16, 2022), Gilead is now the 15th drug manufacturer to place unlawful restrictions on 340B contract pharmacy programs. Lawyers for the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) in both the Biden and Trump administrations have said these restrictions are clearly illegal, yet drug companies like Gilead forge ahead with the lawbreaking in search of even greater profits.

Moreover, according to the 340B Report, Gilead is now refusing to offer the 340B discount price for HIV drugs to providers who use contract pharmacies. Earlier this year, Gilead suddenly, dramatically increased the price that safety net providers pay for Descovy – a drug needed for both HIV treatment and HIV prevention.

“We are fighting against Gilead’s greed to fatten their corporate pockets. Their money-making schemes not only impact community partners and providers but also patients, like myself. I am one of many voices of community advocates who stand against pharma greed. Gilead cares more about money than lives,“ said Jesse Brooks, AIDS advocate and AHF mobilizer.

In response to Gilead’s (and others’) illegal restrictions on 340B access for higher profits, AHF is also asking Congress and the FDA to conduct a formal investigation of Gilead as well as increased scrutiny of the actions of pharmaceutical companies.                                                                                                                                  

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