AHF Zaps Gilead with Lively AIDS Drug Protest During Swank Goldman Sachs Confab in Rancho Palos Verdes

Following a blistering Los Angeles Times article documenting Gilead’s
blatant patent manipulation on its drugs containing tenofovir, AHF
spearheaded an “only-in-California” rolling protest caravan targeting
the drug maker and its investors during the annual Goldman Sachs Global
Healthcare Conference.

The protest caravan featured a hearse, a double-deck bus and 40+ cars
outfitted with “Gilead Greed Kills” banners and placards as well as a
small plane towing a “Gilead Greed Kills” banner over the resort.

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–On Wednesday morning, June 8th, AIDS
Healthcare Foundation
(AHF), the largest global AIDS organization,
zapped AIDS drug kingpin Gilead
Sciences
with an “only-in-California” AIDS drug pricing protest in
the form of a rolling caravan during the annual Goldman Sachs Healthcare
Investor Conference being held at the exclusive Terranea Resort in
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. (View
AP protest photos
)

The protest caravan featured a hearse, a double-deck bus and 40+ cars
outfitted with “Gilead Greed Kills” banners and placards as well as a
small plane towing a “Gilead Greed Kills” banner over the resort. The
protest came about following a blistering LA
Times article
that exposed the pharmaceutical giant’s patent
manipulation of its best-selling HIV drugs containing tenofovir.

The LA Times article details Gilead researchers’ early and promising
clinical trials of TAF, a safer and more effective version of their
existing HIV medication tenofovir. However, trials of the newer
tenofovir compound were abruptly stopped by Gilead executives in 2004, a
few years after they began, in order that Gilead could direct its R&D
efforts toward “…other research.”

In a lawsuit filed earlier this year, AHF alleges that Gilead halted its
early research of TAF in order to extend its patent on its existing HIV
medication, which yielded billions of dollars in annual sales. While
Gilead argues that the move was only to shift attention toward another
type of HIV medicine, their lawyers also maintain that the company “had
no duty to develop, test, seek approval of, or launch its new product on
any particular timetable.” Meanwhile, HIV patients only had access to
the more-harmful version of Gilead’s drug, which had damaging effects on
their kidneys and bones.

In response to Gilead’s patent manipulation for higher profits, AHF is
also asking Congress and the FDA to conduct a formal investigation of
Gilead as well as increased scrutiny of the actions of pharmaceutical
companies. AHF also is running a print ad in several LGBT news outlets
across the country highlighting the issue. View more Gilead protest
PHOTOS here.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS
organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over
611,000 individuals in 36 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin
America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn
more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org,
find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth
and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare
and Instagram: @aidshealthcare.

Contacts

AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Ged Kenslea, +1-323-308-1833
Senior
Director, Communications
gedk@aidshealth.org
mobile:
+1-323-791-5526
or
Christopher Johnson, +1-323-960-4846
Associate
Director, Communications
Christopher.johnson@aidshealth.org
mobile:
+1-310-880-9913