AOC grills pharma CEO: ‘Why does your HIV drug cost $2K in the US, but only $8 in Australia?’

AOC grills pharma CEO: ‘Why does your HIV drug cost $2K in the US, but only $8 in Australia?’

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During a House Committee hearing this Thursday, the chief executive of Gilead Sciences was grilled by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) over the high cost of Truvada, a drug that prevents HIV infection. As The Washington Post reports, Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day told the committee that the high price helps fund continued research into the drug.

The Post reports:

Gilead’s HIV drug, Truvada, costs between $1,600 and $2,00 a month, compared to just a few dollars a month in some foreign countries, a disparity that has attracted widespread criticism of the San Francisco company and stoked claims of price-gouging.

The chief executive of Gilead Sciences, the nation’s leading manufacturer of HIV drugs, insisted before a House committee Thursday that a government patent on Truvada, a key drug that prevents the infection, is invalid.

“Our well-supported view is that the U.S. government does not hold valid patents on the use of Truvada for pre-exposure prophylaxis (‘PrEP’), nor does it hold any patent for Truvada itself,’’ Daniel O’Day said in prepared testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

The hearing was called after the Post reported in March that the U.S. government opted not to enforce an infringement suit “to enforce a 2015 patent on Truvada from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”

Footage of AOC grilling O’Day went viral this Thursday.

Watch the video below, uploaded to Twitter by the advocacy group Public Citizen:

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