Ocasio-Cortez Shreds CEO for Ripping Off Americans on HIV Medicine Prices: ‘Why Is It $8 in Australia?’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) blasted Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day on Thursday, calling him out for charging nearly $2,000 a month for an HIV prevention medicine that costs $8 in Australia.

During an exchange on the House floor, Ocasio-Cortez showed the CEO that she did not come to play games, focusing her attention on Truvada (also known as PrEP), a medication that significantly reduces the risk of infection to HIV.

“Is it true that Gilead made $3 billion in profits from the sales of Truvada in 2018?” the congresswoman asked almost immediately into her questioning of O’Day, prompting him to clarify that it was “$3 billion in revenue.”

“The current list price is $2,000 a month in the United States, correct?” she asked regarding the drug.

“The current list price is $1,780 in the United States,” O’Day responded.

“Why is it $8 in Australia?” Ocasio-Cortez fired back as she noted the extreme price difference of the medicine between the two countries — which is exactly 222.5 times more expensive in the U.S.

Watch the video below:

“Truvada still has patent protection in the United States, and in the rest of the world, it is generic,” the CEO responded, adding that it “will be generically available in the United States as of September 2020.”

This response did not please Ocasio-Cortez, as the congresswoman explained why this price hike should have never been implemented in the first place:

“I think it’s important that we notice here that we the public, we the people, developed this drug, we paid for this drug, we led and developed all of the grounding patents to create PrEP, and then that patent has been privatized despite the fact that the patent is owned by the public, we refused to enforce it.”

“There’s no reason this should be $2,000 a month,” she continued to emphasize. “People are dying because of it, and there’s no enforceable reason for it.”

Responses

  1. Why reply you are still going to let this THIEF get away with it.

  2. Mr. O Day should be locked up in a prison and we should through away the key!

  3. As a whole Drug companies are ripping us off. It’s got to stop

  4. Outlaw lobbying.Which is legal bribary.Drug companies make 9 times more profit per dollar invested than the auto industry does.

    1. Welcome, Hank and Brian, to the cauldron that is IJR! Your sane thoughts are most heartwarming to hear!

    2. And you believe the auto industry does not have lobbyist in DC? They do. If we outlaw lobbying for industries, countries or causes we are not supporting, that means we are outlawing lobbyist for what we support. Then we have UNDECLARED lobbyist. One of the many things we learned from the Mueller indictments was we sure have a lot of undeclared lobbyist already.

  5. I do not understand down votes for this article. Are the down votes for the article reflecting a negative view of a pharmaceutical company or a negative view of BEING MADE AWARE of Gilead taking advantage of US citizens?

    1. Its republicans downing AOC no matter what. They do that a lot, vote against their own interests cause you know…god, guns and stuff.

      1. I’m a Republican & I did not down her. More likely it might be people from the drug industry themselves.

  6. NOT being a fan of AOC does NOT prevent anyone from asking WHY the public owned patent WAS NOT enforced? If the US taxpayer paid for the research and development of the drug treatment, HOW is a private company blocking the sell of generic Truvada until Sept 2020? The US taxpayer paid for the research & development and US citizens that need the drug are forced to pay Gilead for research & development until Sept., 2020??

    1. Only in the USA.When will Americans wise
      up?

    2. “WHY the public owned patent WAS NOT enforced?” Phyllis

      The American people (including voters) don’t realize how corrupted our government is. The politicians who take their payoffs from the big pharmacutical and insurance companies want to misdirect and misinform us, to keep us confused about how we are being ripped off or even murdered.

      These two groups are at the top of this legal bribery scheme, so the politicians make it easy to write bad patent agreements.

      1. This is not a government corruption problem. This is an electorate problem. If the electorate sends a politician to DC that makes wild crazy promises and wild crazy fear mongering, THEY GET what they voted for.

        1. I am confused.

          Which came first, the electorate or the corruption?

          1. You are confused, Phyllis.

            Sam Adams was messing with what would become the electorate while the country was moving toward becoming independent.

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