Today AIDS activists will “occupy” the Foster City, California offices of drug giant Gilead in protest of the high cost of HIV medications. Press release:
In the spirit of the “Occupy” movement, protestors hope to call attention to the severe AIDS drug crisis facing the nation’s ADAPs—a network of federal and state funded programs that provide life-saving HIV treatments to low income, uninsured, and underinsured individuals living with HIV/AIDS nationwide—as well as to the fact that Gilead Sciences’ executives are a part of the “1 percent”. The advocates’ goal is to raise public awareness and educate community members—including Gilead employees—regarding the steep prices that government programs are paying for Gilead’s blockbuster HIV/AIDS drug, Atripla (efavirenz & tenofovir & emtricitabine)—currently $10,000 per patient, per year for ADAP.
The above release also promises: “Protestors will stage a mock funeral in memory of those who have died of AIDS while on AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) waitlists. Protestors will dress in funeral-black and carry banners and signs with the message: ‘Gilead, do the right thing!’ as well as a 4 ft. X 2 ½ ft. coffin while wearing skeleton masks.”
RELATED: Yesterday European authorities approved Gilead’s new all-in-one daily combination pill for HIV therapy. The FDA approved the drug, Complera, back in August. Gilead is dominating the “single daily pill” market as it has a hand in both of the two such pills approved so far.