Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar this week announced a deal for drugmaker Gilead Sciences to donate billions of dollars in HIV drugs to help prevent spread of the disease.
The pharmaceutical company on Thursday agreed to donate pre-exposure prophylaxis medication Truvada to roughly 200,000 people living in states and counties hardest hit by HIV. Those receiving the drug will be uninsured and at risk for HIV, HHS said.
Truvada has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV transmission by 97 percent.
The drug has a list price of $20,000 per patient each year, making the donation worth billions of dollars, HHS said.
"Securing this commitment is a major step in the Trump Administration's efforts to use the prevention and treatment tools we have to end the HIV epidemic in America by 2030," Alex Azar, Health and Human Services secretary, said in a news release. "Under President Trump's leadership, HHS worked with Gilead to secure preventative medication for individuals who might otherwise not be able to access or afford this important treatment."
The deal between Gilead and HHS will stand through at least Dec. 31, 2025, but could extend to Dec. 31, 2030.
Gilead has agreed to donate Truvada until the company's next-generation preventative HIV drug, Descovy, is available. The company will then donate Descovy as a part of the 11-year deal, or until the drug's generic version hits the market.
The announcement from HHS is part of Trump's plan to target 48 counties throughout the United States to eliminate HIV transmission over the next decade.
"The majority of Americans who are at risk and who could protect themselves with PrEP are still not receiving the medication," Azar said. "This agreement will help close that gap substantially and deliver on President Trump's promise to end the HIV epidemic in America."
Copyright 2019 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent., source Health News - Business