In a recent announcement from Gilead, the company that as of now has the patent on PrEP, they are releasing the patent of their HIV and PrEP medication, Truvada, earlier than anticipated.
While the change will not go immediately into effect, Gilead has announced that they have bumped up the date of generic options, meaning it can be accessible as early as 2020.
With an efficacy of close to 99 percent, the drug Truvada has the ability to reduce the risk of HIV transmission, and the decision to allow generic options will undoubtedly reduce the current cost of $1,600-$2,000 per month to a more reasonable price.
However, many are questioning why Gilead is retaining exclusive rights to Truvada for another 15 months and not making it available immediately. Organizations like #breakthepatent and activists within the PREP4ALL Collaboration have some issue with the delay in accessibility.
“U.S. taxpayers paid for the development of this drug, yet it’s far too expensive for the people who need it most,” said #breakthepatent in an official statement.
#Gilead hopes to appease (and distract) with their nominal schedule change for #Truvada. I do not trust this news. Where are the patent profits taxpayers deserve, @CDCgov? Why does @GileadSciences own the U.S. #HIV response? #PREP4ALLNOW https://t.co/ADgfYvZrrA
— Mark S. King (@MyFabDisease) May 8, 2019
Last month, OUT FRONT reported that U.S. officials stopped by the Centers for Disease Control to question scientists about the Gilead patent. The earlier release could possibly be due to the result of that visit, in addition to pressure from HIV activists.
While there is an unclear, long-term impact of what Truvada’s generic implementation will do to pocketbooks, many are still thrilled about the idea of having easier access, eventually.
I get to start taking PrEP/Truvada today. For those who don’t know, it’s a pill taken daily that’s 99% effective against contracting HIV (“the pill” for gay men, as I call it). In regards to my past, present and future sexual health this is, honestly, pretty fucking awesome.
— Cojo (@CoJoBro22) May 2, 2019
— Zack Ford (@ZackFord) May 9, 2019
This is HUGE! https://t.co/5HxuNiwooK
— Equality NC (@equalitync) May 9, 2019