FDA Approves Anti-HIV Pill…for $28,500 a Year

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A once-a-day pill for HIV patients has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, which didn’t blink at the manufacturer’s annual selling price: $28,500.


The drug Stribild is the third of its kind from Gilead Sciences, which previously released the once-a-day anti-HIV medications Atripla and Complera. Like its predecessors, Stribild consists of multiple treatments combined into one pill.


However, Stribild differs in one important way from Atripla and Complera, as far as cost-savings go for Gilead. Whereas Atripla contains a drug from Bristol-Myers Squibb and Complera contains a drug from Johnson & Johnson, Stribild contains only ingredients owned by Gilead.


Stribild is not markedly different from the other drugs in terms of efficacy, according to The New York Times.


AIDS activists were outraged once they heard how much Gilead intends to charge for the new drug. Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, called the pricing “shockingly irresponsible….It’s just unsustainable at these levels,” he told The New York Times.


Industry analysts project Gilead could earn $2.5 billion from sales of Stribild by 2015.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

F.D.A. Approves Once-a-Day Pill for H.I.V. (by Andrew Pollack, New York Times)

Activists Protest Stribild’s $28,500 Price Tag (by Tim Horn, AIDS Meds)


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