Washington Post Examines Patent Rights Of HIV Prevention Drug Developed By U.S. Government, Made By Gilead
Washington Post: An HIV treatment cost taxpayers millions. The government patented it. But a pharma giant is making billions.
“…[Researchers’] work — almost fully funded by U.S. taxpayers — created a new use for an older prescription drug called Truvada: preventing HIV infection. But the U.S. government, which patented the treatment in 2015, is not receiving a penny for that use of the drug from Gilead Sciences, Truvada’s maker, which earned $3 billion in Truvada sales last year. Gilead argues that the government’s patents for Truvada for PrEP, as the prevention treatment is called, are invalid. And the government has failed to reach a deal for royalties or other concessions from the company… The extraordinary standoff between the CDC and a drug company over patent rights raises a big question for the Trump administration: How aggressively should the government attempt to enforce its patents against an industry partner? … Activists want the government to take a more aggressive stance against Gilead. Their complaints are part of a broader wave of anger over drug companies reaping hefty financial rewards by capitalizing on taxpayer-funded research…” (Rowland, 3/26).