Friday, August 24, 2012
Gilead battles AIDS group in drug spat
As Gilead Sciences Inc. nears approval this month of its four-in-one drug treatment for fighting HIV, a one-time ally has become an opponent. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which operates clinics, pharmacies and testing sites nationally, says the Quad pill from Foster City-based Gilead isn’t an improvement over current HIV drugs. What’s more, it dubs as “reckless” the recent, groundbreaking approval of Gilead’s two-in-one Truvada tablet as a way to prevent the AIDS virus. Pricing of Gilead’s portfolio of HIV-fighting drugs? Gilead should show restraint, AHF says. And while they’re at it, AHF says Gilead CEO John Martin’s compensation, which hit $15.6 million in 2011, is nothing more than "pharma greed." The foundation's issues involve the departure of a Gilead executive from the AHF board earlier this year as well as Gilead's decision to pull funding in June for two AHF programs. Perhaps most importantly, though, the campaign hasn't won AHF many friends in the AIDS patient advocacy community.