Drugmaker will donate meds for USA push to end HIV Outbreak

Modesto Morganelli
Mag 13, 2019

The Trump administration has set a goal of ending the HIV epidemic in the USA within 10 years. It also comes almost two years after the FDA approved a generic version of Truvada.

Dr Rochelle Walensky, from Massachusetts General Hospital, an expert who analysed costs of the Obama administration's AIDS plan told the New York Times that the deal "covers less than 20% of the people who need it".

The agreement between Gilead and the Trump administration will last until at least December 31, 2025, and possibly through the end of 2030, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement Thursday. When taken consistently, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who are at high risk by up to 92%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"Securing this commitment is a major step in the Trump Administration's efforts to use the prevention and treatment tools we have to end the HIV epidemic in America by 2030", Azar said.

Trump touted the news on Twitter.

Gilead has announced it will donate its HIV drug Truvada to a US-government led prophylaxis programme to end the epidemic of the disease.

In recent years, activists launched a "break the patent" campaign, which is created to make Truvada more accessible and affordable.

However some commentators suggested that this is a shrewd marketing tactic on the part of Gilead, allowing it to raise awareness of Descovy ahead of any approval.

According to Gilead's quarterly report, which was issued yesterday, May 8, the generic version stems from a settlement agreement with Teva and will be released in the USA on September 30, 2020.

NBC News reported: 'Activists who have been pushing Gilead to #BreakThePatent hailed the news Wednesday, calling it "a victory for the LGBTQ+ community, for HIV activists, and for USA taxpayers", but also tamped down expectations.

CNN reported: "A European study of almost 1,000 male couples, where one partner with HIV was taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) to suppress the virus, has found that there were no new cases of transmission to the HIV-negative partner during sex without a condom". The allocation surpasses the $300 million the Trump administration sought to combat HIV as part of its annual budget request in addition to rejecting the proposed $424 million cut to AIDS research at the National Institutes for Health.

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