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For the second time in less than two years, Gilead Sciences (GILD) has been reprimanded by a U.K. pharmaceutical industry trade group for disseminating information that unfairly compared one of its HIV drugs with a rival medicine sold by ViiV Healthcare. But this time, the drug maker was slammed for being a repeat offender and discrediting the entire industry.

The scolding occurs as Gilead braces for new competition from ViiV, a venture largely owned by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The companies have been battling over the lucrative HIV market for years, but ViiV is hoping to win regulatory approval next year for an injectable medicine for preventing the virus that leads to AIDS. And the looming showdown is being closely watched by Wall Street.


The episode began at an industry conference in Glasgow in October 2018, when Gilead displayed a panel and videos about its Biktarvy pill for treating adults with HIV. ViiV, however, maintained the information overstated differences between the Gilead drug and regimens that include a medicine called dolutegravir, such as its own Juluca. ViiV claimed the information was not fair and balanced, and was “misleading.”

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