Gilead CEO Takes Turn on House Hot Seat

May 23, 2019

Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day on defended his company’s handling of its blockbuster HIV prevention pill Truvada before hostile House Democrats.

The House Oversight Committee titled the May 16 hearing, “HIV Prevention Drug: Billions in Corporate Profits after Millions in Taxpayer Investments,” and Democrats on the committee took aim at Gilead for using federal dollars to develop Truvada (emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) as an HIV-prevention therapy and then overcharging customers for its use.

“Gilead bore the risk and the vast majority of the cost of research and clinical studies to demonstrate Truvada’s efficacy and safety as part of combination HIV therapy,” O’Day told the panel.

He didn’t dispute that the federal government paid more than $51 million to support the research behind Truvada. But Gilead spent $1.1 billion of its own and the company’s “well-supported view” was that the government has no valid claims on it, O’Day said.

“To be clear, Gilead invented Truvada. No one else,” he said.

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