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HIV PrEP Patent Lawsuit—U.S. v. Gilead—Goes to Trial


Jim Allen: Article in full:

In Short:

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For nearly four years, the U.S. government and HIV drugmaker Gilead Sciences have been battling over the patent for the HIV prevention meds Truvada and Descovy. The case goes to federal court this week. The jury is to be selected on Tuesday, May 2, and the trial is expected to last six days, reports The Washington Post.

The trial has been a long time coming, with many twists and detours along the way. The government seeks over $1 billion, according to Reuters, noting that Gilead made over $2 billion from sales of Truvada and Descovy just last year.

In March 2019, the activist group PrEP4All claimed that the CDC held the patent for Truvada’s use as PrEP because researchers with federal grants (and additional funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) were the first to prove that the drug worked very well as prevention. The advocates wanted royalties from Gilead to fund a national PrEP program to make the med accessible to everyone regardless of their ability to pay. (For background, see this POZ article.)

In November 2019, the government filed a patent lawsuit against Gilead regarding Truvada as PrEP, including the updated version Descovy. (You can read the Department of Health and Human Services press release here.)

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--- Quote ---The advocates wanted royalties from Gilead to fund a national PrEP program to make the med accessible to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

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just PrEP? What a game-changer it would be if all Truvada and Descovy would be least here in America. Don't get me wrong. I'm not one of those crazy America First nutcases. However federal dollars, federal patents......not to mention a helluva lot of federal research goes into all these drugs. Here in the USA, with no national healthcare, we all have to pay for our own healthcare through insurance or state/federal assistance. It just seems kind of weird to me if my taxes helped pay for nearly all aspects of the creation of these medications that after all that cost I still have to pay even more money to actually have the fruits of my tax dollars' labor.

Isn't that like after citizens pay gasoline tax at the pump to build and maintain roads (that's all the planning, labor, production, etc costs) then not allowing them to drive on the roads they technically own lock, stock, and barrel?

btw maybe it's just the advocate in me with this rhetorical thinking. I don't expect answers. It's just something to think about

Jim Allen:

--- Quote ---HIV drugmaker Gilead Sciences won a patent lawsuit brought by the federal government regarding Truvada and Descovy used as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV, Reuters reports.

Specifically, a federal court jury in Delaware ruled that the HIV drugmaker Gilead Sciences did not infringe on patents and that the government’s patent claims were invalid.
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my personal opinion: ugh.
big pharma troubles me anyway. Billions in profits and billions wasted on advertising (in America). You would think they could fund PrEP services without a lawsuit.


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