Trump administration sues Gilead

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The Trump administration filed a lawsuit against Gilead Nov. 6, accusing the drugmaker of making billions of dollars from taxpayer-funded research without paying taxpayers back.

Gilead sells the only two FDA-approved drugs for pre-exposure prophylaxis, Truvada and Descovy, which are designed to prevent HIV infection. The drugs can cost patients more than $20,000 a year.

The lawsuit claims Gilead infringed upon patents owned by HHS and refused attempts by HHS to license the patents and collect royalties.

"Gilead must respect the U.S. patent system, the groundbreaking work by CDC researchers, and the substantial taxpayer contributions to the development of these drugs," HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement.

The Trump administration has said it plans to reduce new HIV infections by 75 percent over five years and end the HIV epidemic in America by 2030, according to The New York Times. AIDS activist groups have said the drugs' high price tag has limited its accessibility to high-risk people with low incomes, preventing the government from achieving its goal.

In May, Gilead said it would donate enough of its HIV prevention drugs to supply 200,000 people until 2025. However, about 1 million Americans are estimated to be at risk and only about 270,000 people take the drug, according to The New York Times.

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