Gilead CEO heads to Capitol Hill to testify on pricing of HIV prevention pill

Gilead Science CEO Daniel O'Day will testify May 16 on Capitol Hill  in front of a House committee over the pricing for its HIV prevention pill, according to STAT.

Six notes:

1. Gilead makes Truvada, the only FDA-approved drug to prevent the transmission of HIV, which sells for about $1,600 to $2,000 a month in the U.S. It currently has patent exclusivity for the drug.

2. The pricing of the drug has increased steadily since it was introduced in 2004 to treat HIV. In 2004, the wholesale cost for a month's supply was $650. In 2012, when Truvada received expanded approval to prevent HIV, the price was hiked to $1,159, according to STAT.

3. AIDS activists have increasingly criticized the company for its pricing of the drug, arguing the price and patent exclusivity has caused access issues.

4. The House Committee on Oversight and Reform will hold a hearing titled “HIV Prevention Drug: Billions in Corporate Profits after Millions in Taxpayer Investments." It will examine Gilead's pricing strategy for an HIV prevention drug and will examine taxpayer funding.

5. The hearing is likely to be tough for Mr. O'Day, who joined Gilead as chief executive this year.

6. Last week, Gilead agreed to donate Truvada to the government to reduce the risk of HIV transmission for up to 200,000 people a year. This will likely be a talking point at the hearing.

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