BREAK THE PATENT
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There is a drug called Truvada that can reduce the risk of HIV by more than 99%, but it is hidden from the American and world public due to the greed of the profiteering company that produces it.
Gilead Sciences has raised its price from $6 to more than $1,600 a month, even though American taxpayers paid almost the entire cost of developing it. If we could lower the price of the drug, we could end the HIV epidemic without a vaccine. The drug business has held the American people hostage for a very long time.
The website breakthepatent.org, which has now shut down, called for us to join the #BreakThePatent campaign.
WHAT WAS THE MISSION OF #BREAKTHEPATENT
#BREAKTHEPATENT told us that a miracle drug that can reduce the risk of HIV transmission by more than 99% is now being withheld from the American public. The drug is called Truvada, and when taken daily as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), it can provide almost absolute protection against the virus.
So why aren't so many people taking it?
The manufacturer of Truvada, Gilead Sciences, has jacked up the price by more than 25,000%.
You read that correctly. It costs less than $6 a month to produce the drug, but Gilead charges patients more than $1,600 for a 30-day supply. This price barrier has resulted in less than 10% of at-risk people currently taking the drug.
The most frustrating part of this equation is that the drug manufacturer did not pay for the research that went into developing the drug. YOU did. U.S. taxpayers, through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), paid for almost all of the research that was done to develop the drug Truvada as a preventative.
While Gilead is lining its pockets by profiting from taxpayer investment, the HIV epidemic continues to exist. More than 100 Americans are infected with HIV every day, with people of color and the LGBT community disproportionately affected.
But it doesn't have to be this way. The NIH can "march out" and tear up the patents on the drug at any time, immediately lowering the price and allowing millions of people access to this life-saving treatment.
The time is now. Sign the petition and tell the National Institutes of Health to #BreakThePatent!
Together we can send a clear message to the pharmaceutical industry that the American people will not tolerate their greed.
When taken daily, Truvada (or a generic equivalent) reduces the risk of HIV transmission by more than 99%. That’s more effective than the vaccines for Polio, Measles, Mumps, and Tuberculosis. If we can get enough people to take the medication, we can end the epidemic once and for all. When we have the technology to prevent HIV transmission, it’s a moral outrage that the drug is still being withheld from the public.
PrEP DOESN'T HAVE TO BE SO EXPENSIVE
Though Gilead charges an average of $1,600 for a monthly supply Truvada, it costs less than $6 to produce! What Gilead charges for just two pills could pay for an entire year’s supply of a generic equivalent.
THE US ALREADY PAYS FOR GENERIC TRUVADA
– just not for Americans. As part of international HIV programs, the US pays for generic Truvada within Africa, Southeast Asia, and elsewhere for ~$6 a month. Meanwhile, Americans pay 250+ times that price due to Gilead's patents.
GILEAD DID NOT INVENT PrEP
The US government and taxpayers paid for almost 100% of the research that went into the development of Truvada as PrEP, and still retains the relevant intellectual property rights.
GILEAD’S PATENT CAN BE BROKEN
The Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 gives federal funding agencies the right to “March In” and ignore patent exclusivity should the holder fail to acknowledge “health or safety needs” of consumers by, for instance, engaging in price gouging.
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