SF Ballot Measure Sought To Fight Pricing Of New AIDS Drug

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is spearheading a ballot measure in San Francisco to combat what it calls “predatory pricing” of a new AIDS drug.

The new 4-in-1 drug Stribild is manufactured by Foster City-based Gilead Sciences and was approved this week by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. But Michael Weinstein, president of the nonprofit AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said it costs more than $28,000 per patient, per year.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

“The price of this drug is higher than the income of the majority of people who take it,” he said.

Weinstein said the cost of the once-a-day pill will further strain the AIDS drug assistance program and shows exactly how unsustainable pricing has become.

He said his organization is now beginning to gather signatures to place a measure on San Francisco’s November 2013 ballot.

“It mandates the city to enter into negotiations with the pharmaceutical industry to get lower prices,” said Weinstein.

A Gilead spokesperson sent KCBS an email reading in part that as the leading provider of HIV therapy, the company “takes its responsibility to patients seriously” and it has established one of the most comprehensive packages of patient assistance solutions for people living with HIV.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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