A group of prominent AIDS activists is urging the New York attorney general to investigate Gilead Sciences (GILD) for potential antitrust violations in connection with deals the drug maker struck with rivals that sought to sell generic versions of a best-selling HIV treatment.
The activists are concerned Gilead may have reached agreements with the companies that allow it to improperly forestall competition to its Truvada HIV prevention pill, according to an Aug. 4 letter they wrote to Eric Schneiderman, the New York attorney general. Those deals were reached three years ago to settle patent litigation and generic versions are not expected to appear before 2021.
Specifically, the activists want to know whether those agreements were so-called pay-to-delay deals in which a brand-name drug maker settles patent litigation with erstwhile generic rivals by offering to make a cash payment or offer some arrangement that has value. In return, the generic drug maker agrees to delay launching its copycat version.
Sorry to disappoint the AIDS activists, but TEVA holds the only ANDA for Truvada. If they remain as the single source generic they will be free to charge almost as much as Gilead, and with 180 day exclusivity will reap at least $1,000,000,00 in sales, assuming TEVA is still around in a few years.
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