In an unusual move, an advocacy group asked federal authorities to reject a request by Gilead Sciences (GILD) for a three-year patent extension on an HIV drug because the company allegedly lied about important information in its application.
The group argued in an emergency petition with the U.S. Patent and Trade Office that Gilead concealed a decision to delay development of the drug, called TAF, in order to thwart generic competition and “game” the patent system. In the process, the company reaped billions of dollars in additional sales while knowingly marketing an older drug that the company believed was not as safe.
“If the PTO approves the patent extension, it would set an extremely disturbing precedent in which a drug company can intentionally delay development of a drug it believes is safer. And it could not only impact HIV treatment for decades to come, but also every facet of the American health care system,” said James Krellenstein, a member of the PrEP4All Collaboration that filed the petition.