Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Lawsuit accuses Gilead of propping up cost of lifesaving HIV drugs


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By Ashley Turner, CNBC

Pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences engaged in a “long-running scheme” to block generic competition of its combination drug “cocktails” to treat HIV, a new California lawsuit filed on Monday alleges.

The plaintiffs in the suit claim that Gilead’s actions caused the cost of the life-saving treatment to rise.

The suit accuses Gilead, the nation’s leading drugmaker for HIV treatments, of violating antitrust laws and maintaining a monopoly on the market for the HIV treatment known as “combination antiretroviral therapy,” or cART.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, names drugmakers Bristol-Myers Squibb and Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals as co-defendants in what the plaintiffs say was a scheme to extend patent protection for their drugs and charge “exorbitant, supracompetitive” prices for the drugs.

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