February 1, 2013
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) reported that Gilead Sciences, Inc. charges U.S. HIV patients $28,500 per year for the new HIV drug Stribild, in comparison to $16,600 per patient per year in Canada and European countries with price controls. AHF president Michael Weinstein questioned why Gilead was willing to charge U.S. government programs like ADAP and U.S. HIV patients 42 percent more per patient, per year than price-controlled countries with stronger economies.
When the FDA approved Stribild, a drug that combines four HIV medicines in one pill, in September 2012, Gilead immediately set the U.S. Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC) at $28,500. Stribild costs 35 percent more per patient, per year than Atripla, Gilead's best selling three-in-one combination drug.
The WAC for other Gilead drugs also went up in 2013: Atripla increased 6 percent to $1,878.23 per month; Complera went up 5.8 percent to $1,936.53; Emtriva rose by 5.5 percent to $478.45; and Viread increased 6 percent to $771.39.
Weinstein stated AHF challenged Gilead's pricing strategy to educate people in the United States about the cost of HIV medicines and to pressure Gilead into changing its U.S. pricing policies.