FOSTER CITY, Calif. (KRON) – The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is holding several protests outside the headquarters of pharmaceutical manufacturer Gilead Sciences. They said the company overcharged patients who use their drugs and illegally restricted access to some of its drugs.
Under the federal government’s 340B, a drug pricing program, drugmakers, such as Gilead, are required to provide drugs at a reduced cost to eligible healthcare providers.
Protesters said the company violated its 340B obligations by not offering discounted prices for its hepatitis C drugs and HIV drugs.
They said low-income patients were struggling to afford Gilead’s drugs and were asking the company to provide relief.
“We would certainly appreciate Gilead doing the right thing and putting people before profit and making it fair for people to be able to afford their drugs,” said Kendall Moore of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
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KRON4 has contacted Gilead Sciences for comment and received the following statement from a Gilead spokesperson:
“Gilead’s role in ending the HIV and hepatitis epidemics is to discover, develop and ensure access to our lifesaving medicines. We are committed to advancing health equity and reducing racial, geographic and societal barriers that affect access to care. Through our free medicine program, Gilead has provided free medicine to more than 250,000 people. Gilead is the largest private funder of HIV programs in the United States, providing more than $250 million in charitable contributions and grants in 2021 alone to support efforts to end HIV infection. HIV epidemic. Gilead also runs many community programs to address the issues that fuel the HIV epidemic, particularly among key populations and in certain regions of the country.“
“Gilead has a long history of working closely across sectors and in partnership with the HIV community to help end the epidemic. As a leader in the field of HIV, we will continue to work with the HIV community and policy makers to overcome remaining barriers to HIV prevention, care and treatment, and to advance public health initiatives to fight HIV, especially in the hardest hit regions in the United States. .“
Protesters plan to return to Foster City on Thursday and Friday.