Lower Drug Pricing Key to Fix for Industry’s Image, Says AHF
WASHINGTON — In response to a Forbes.com story entitled “Pharma's Reputation Continues to Suffer -- What Can Be Done To Fix It?” and recent Patient View Quarterly survey showing the pharmaceutical industry’s reputation ranks at the bottom of all health care industries, leading global nonprofit AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) contends that the key to repairing the drug industry’s poor reputation is to change its policy of gouging prices for medicines, including those used to treat HIV/AIDS.
According to the Patient View survey, as reported by Forbes.com, the leading cause of discontent with the pharmaceutical industry is, “a lack of fair pricing policies leading to unseemly profits.” The survey found industry also received a ‘poor’ rating on “Acting with integrity.”
“Pharma should hear the message loud and clear; its policy of gouging patients over their health is backfiring. The fact that a company like Gilead Sciences, a company whose business model is to gouge government programs and people with HIV/AIDS in order to maximize profits, is the best pharma has to offer clearly shows far this industry has fallen,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
Stribild, Gilead’s four-in-one combination pill that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in September of last year, is the most expensive AIDS first line treatment on the market today at $28,500 per patient, per year, which was 35% higher than the price of their best-selling treatment at that time and is more than most HIV/AIDS patients earn annually.