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US sues drugmaker Gilead Sciences over Truvada patent for HIV prevention

In a statement Wednesday night, HHS stated that Gilead “ intentionally and intentionally caused infringement of HHS patents. & # 39; & # 39;

The department said as a result: “ Gilead has benefited from research funded by hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars and received billions from PrEP & # 39; & # 39; through the sale of Truvada and a newer drug from Gilead, Descovy. Despite the government's efforts to reach an agreement, the department says, “ Gilead has repeatedly refused to obtain licenses for the use of HHS patents. & # 39; & # 39;

The action was followed by a March article in The Washington Post describing the opposition between Gilead and the CDC and the National Institutes of Health over Truvada's patent for PrEP. The post reported powerlessness among activists and researchers that the government did not take legal action in the face of the Gilead challenge, even though it won its patents in 201


In April, The Post reported that the Justice Department had opened a review [19659002] Gilead challenged government patents, filing a formal patent challenge in August. Gilead did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday night.

HIV activists said the government's move was a "first step" toward widespread Truvada distribution for PrEP.

Truvada for PrEP is the nexus of public health strategies to eradicate HIV and AIDS by 2030, a goal endorsed by President Trump. But the cost of the drug – $ 20,000 a year – was criticized by public health activists and officials. Gilead made $ 3 billion in Truvada sales in 2018

“ For nearly a decade, Gilead PrEP prices have prevented hundreds of thousands of Americans from accessing this technology, even though it was a taxpayer-funded invention. & # 39; & # 39; statement of the PrEP4All coalition. “ If HHS is really investing in ending the HIV epidemic, it will use these patents as a lever to ensure that anyone who needs PrEP can get it. ”

The CDC and other federal health officials had said little about the dispute earlier. HHS said Wednesday that CDC scientists discovered the use of Truvada – which Gilead developed to treat HIV after infection – in the mid-2000s.

In its challenge to the US Patent and Trademark Office in August, Gilead stated that independent researchers had already discussed the idea of ​​using Truvada to prevent HIV at the time the CDC applied for its patent.

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