Last summer we reported on the prohibitive costs of AIDS and H.I.V. drugs in America. Due to high drug prices, plus overcrowded and inefficient AIDS Drug Assistance Programs, individuals suffering from these diseases live in fear, not knowing if they will get the meds they need. Sadly, the problem has gotten worse.
A recent discussion on an AIDS/H.I.V. community web forum is what caught our attention. In that forum’s thread entitled “Links to Stop White House from Blocking Online Pharmacies”, outspoken members have voiced outrage over recent price hikes of critical HIV medications.
As reported by the AIDS and H.I.V. advocacy website and monthly magazine POZ.com, Gilead Sciences, a major manufacturer of AIDS and H.I.V. prescription drugs, has increased prices for its top HIV medications. “Atripla increased by 5.1 percent, and Truvada and Emtriva increased by 7.9 percent.” Comparing prices for these drugs at a local New York bricks and mortar pharmacy to licensed and verified foreign pharmacies, one finds substantial price discrepancies:
Drug Prices for a Three-Month Supply
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It’s noteworthy that these savings, in terms of percentage, are not as high as average savings on most brand name drug products, which is about 80%. Still, the savings are significant. For example, some Americans taking Atripla face annual costs of $26,161.16 at U.S. pharmacies, compared to $14,662.80 at the lowest-price online pharmacy verified by PharmacyChecker.com. The annual savings amounts to $11,498.36 and could mean the difference between taking and not taking life-saving prescribed medications.
Change.org has a relevant petition, asking the Gilead Sciences leaders “to lower the cost of life-saving HIV medications to patients living in the USA.” And similarly, the AIDS Health Foundation in Florida is encouraging residents to write to Governor Rick Scott, asking him to intervene with funding cuts and prices raises that put 3,762 Florida AIDS patients on a wait list to receive subsidized medication. Florida has the third largest caseload of AIDS and H.I.V. patient in the nation.AIDS, AIDS Health Foundation, America, Atripla, Change.org, community web forum, Drug Prices, Emtriva, Florida, Gilead Sciences, Governor Rick Scott, H.I.V., Online Pharmacies, petition, Truvada, United States, White House