A generic version of Gilead Sciences' HIV prevention drug, Truvada, will be available one year earlier than expected due to an agreement struck with Teva Pharmaceuticals a few years ago, the drugmaker announced May 8, according to CNBC.
The Trump administration has set a goal of ending the HIV epidemic in the US within 10 years.
The Trump administration has set a goal of finishing the HIV epidemic in the US within a decade.
At the moment only 200,000 of the estimated 1.1 million Americans considered at risk for HIV now receive Truvada for PrEP.
Dr Rochelle Walensky, from Massachusetts General Hospital, an expert who analysed costs of the Obama administration's AIDS plan told the New York Times that the deal "covers less than 20% of the people who need it".
In recent years, activists launched a "break the patent" campaign, which is created to make Truvada more accessible and affordable.
Activist Peter Staley pointed out to the NYT that the DOJ is investigating whether Gilead failed to pay the CDC royalties for work it did developing Truvada: "Neither Azar's announcement nor Gilead says whether this is part of some settlement of that Justice Department investigation. Also, this won't cut into Gilead's sales at all, and it's a very cheap marketing program for Descovy".
According to The Advocate, Gilead will grant Teva Pharmaceuticals, the world's largest generic drug manufacturing company, exclusive rights to a generic Truvada pill beginning September 30, 2020. They hailed the news of an early generic version, calling it "a victory for the LGBTQ+ community, for HIV activists and for USA taxpayers", according to CNBC.
Even their announcement today leaves Gilead with exclusive rights to Truvada as PrEP for another 15 months and Teva as the only generic manufacturer on the USA market. "We believe today's donation, combined with efforts to address the root causes of the epidemic, such as racism, violence against women, stigma, homophobia and transphobia, can play an important role in ending the HIV epidemic in the United States, particularly in parts of the country with the highest burden of disease". "While 15 men were infected with HIV over the course of the eight-year study, genetic testing showed that it was a result of sexual relationships with someone other than their partner".