A congressional committee is asking Gilead Sciences (GILD) to explain its pricing policies for the Truvada HIV prevention pill, the latest effort to pressure the drug maker over a medicine that has stirred controversy thanks to its high cost and federally funded research support.
In a letter sent on Wednesday to the company, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform asked for explanations for Truvada price hikes over the past decade, as well as correspondence with federal agencies about donations to the U.S. government and patents related to HIV prevention. The committee also wants data on the cost to manufacture Truvada and a follow-up pill called Descovy.
The move follows a hearing last month that was triggered by AIDS activists who claim high pricing has limited patient access. They have also argued the federal government should pursue royalties on a key patent that was filed by researchers whose work was funded partly with taxpayer dollars. The activists contend government agencies could use any royalties to help support efforts to combat the virus.