Wednesday, November 02, 2011

AHF to Stage “Day of the Dead” Funeral Procession to Protest Gilead’s AIDS Drug Prices - News Press Release |

Scores of AIDS advocates will participate in a funeral procession and mock “die-in” protest hosted by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), tomorrow, Wednesday, November 2ndstartingin Oakland at 7:30 AM and traveling to the headquarters of Gilead Sciences Inc. in Foster City, to protest the company’s pricing of its HIV/AIDS medications. The four-car funeral procession, directed by two funeral escorts, will begin in Oakland and slowly make its way over the San Mateo Bridge, traveling nearly 30 miles to the Foster City Gilead Science’s headquarters, where protestors will honor and remember those who have died of AIDS while on AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) waitlists. AIDS advocates will wear skeleton masks, be dressed in all black, and will hold banners and handmade signs with the message: “Gilead, do the right thing!” as well as carry a 4 ft. x 2 ½ ft. coffin.

The mock funeral procession and “die-in” protest will be held to highlight the severe crisis facing the nation’s ADAPs, a network of federal and state funded programs that provide life-saving HIV treatments to low income, uninsured, and underinsured individuals living with HIV/AIDS nationwide. The advocates’ goal is to raise public awareness and educate community members—including Gilead employees—regarding the steep prices that government programs are paying for Gilead’s blockbuster HIV/AIDS drug, Atripla (efavirenz & tenofovir & emtricitabine)—currently $10,000 per patient, per year for ADAP.


Funeral Procession & “Die-in” Protest of Gilead’s AIDS Drug Prices

7:30 AM Pacific Daylight Time

WHEN: WEDNESDAY, November 2nd,2011 at 7:30 AM

Funeral procession to begin at 238 East 18th St., Oakland, CA 94606 (Near Out of the Closet Thrift Store)

“Die-In” Protest to take place at the corner of Lakeside and East 3rd in Foster City

(Near Gilead Headquarters at 333 Lakeside Drive, Foster City, CA 94404)


Eileen Garcia, Community Outreach Manager, (213) 405-5838 cell

Christina McEwen, Communications & Mktg Coordinator, (714) 457-6185 cell, (323) 308-1832 office

The funeral procession and “die-in” protest is an echo of three similar “die-in” protests and a “pill-bottle” protest, which took place recently outside the Foster City Gilead Sciences Inc.’s headquarters. In addition, AIDS Healthcare Foundation previously released a 30-second television commercial: “Gilead: AIDS Drug Prices to Die For.” The ad, which ran on MSNBC and CNN in San Francisco, Foster City and surrounding areas, urged the company to lower prices immediately and directed viewers to send an e-letter to Gilead CEO John Martin by visiting

Tomorrow’s protest coincides with the traditional Mexican holiday, “Day of the Dead”, which brings people together to remember, pray for, and celebrate friends and family members who have died. So in the spirit of the holiday, protesters will remember those who have died while on ADAP waiting lists and send a message that many lives are still at risk.

As of October 27th, there are 6,689 people on waiting lists in twelve states, according to ADAP Watch, published regularly by the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD). The total number of people on that have either been dropped from the program, been place on a waiting list or are unable to enroll due to lowered eligibility is at least 7,415. The breakdown is as follows:

  • 6,689 on waiting lists (as reported by NASTAD)
  • 445 people dropped (also reported by NASTAD)
  • 281 people unable to enroll because of lowered eligibility (This figure is likely higher because AHF’s estimate is based on enrollment figures from FY2009, the most recent full-year data available.)

“It is important to make this message clear to Gilead employees, as hard-hit government-funded programs like ADAP bear the brunt of Gilead’s greed,” said Eileen Garcia, Community Outreach Manager for AHF and one of the protest’s leaders. “Atripla is one of Gilead’s top selling AIDS drugs, and as such accounts for over 20% of ADAP expenditures and brings in millions in revenue for the company. Today, the cost of this single drug is over $10,000 per year, and ADAP simply cannot afford to pay for this as well as other AIDS drugs without price relief. Given that Atripla is sold ‘at cost’ for $600 per year in developing countries, Gilead could lower its price significantly, while continuing to make a large profit, yet it has not done so.”

Posted via email from Jack's posterous

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