Commentary & Opinion
Emory University Should Use $525 Million Deal to Ensure HIV/AIDS Treatment Access for People in Developing World, Opinion Piece Says
July 29, 2005
Emory University should be congratulated for its recent intellectual property deal in which it will receive $525 million in royalties for an antiretroviral drug developed by its researchers, but the university should use some of the money to establish a foundation "to assure access to affordable HIV/AIDS drugs worldwide," George Rust, a professor of family medicine at Morehouse School of Medicine, writes in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution opinion piece (Rust, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 7/27). Emory University last week announced it will sell the rights to an antiretroviral drug developed by its scientists to Gilead Sciences and Royalty Pharma in exchange for a one-time payment of $525 million. The drug, called Emtriva and known generically as emtricitabine, was approved by FDA in July 2003 and works by blocking an enzyme that is necessary for HIV replication. Under the terms of the agreement, Gilead will pay Emory $341 million to acquire 65% of the intellectual property rights to Emtriva and Royalty Pharma will pay Emory $184 million for the other 35% of the rights (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/19). "Let us reflect on the half a billion dollars in capital investment that will now be built into the pricing of this drug for the next decade," a cost that will be born "by AIDS patients themselves, by employers and employees whose pharmacy benefit premiums will rise, and by taxpayers who will subsidize this cost through Medicaid and other state and federal programs," Rust says. Instead of selling the rights to the drug, the researchers could have obtained the patent and provided an open license for other nations such as Brazil, India or South Africa to produce the drug at an affordable price for HIV-positive people in the developing world, Rust says, adding, "Perhaps it is not too late" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 7/27).
Investment Needed for Other Diseases
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2004 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.
Women's eNews Examines How HIV/AIDS Advocates Aim to Raise Profile of, Improve Services for HIV-Positive Women
Recent Cash Pledges Bring Microbicides Closer to Development, But More Commitment Needed, Advocates Say
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.