Source: Science Speaks: HIV & TB News
24 July 2014
Science Speaks is live-blogging from AIDS 2014 in Melbourne, Australia through the week, with updates on research, policy and insights from the 20th International AIDS Conference.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – On Thursday afternoon, activists surprised Gilead corporate executives with a “die-in” to protest the pricing of Gilead’s hepatitis C drug, Solvaldi (sofosbuvir). As Gregg Alton, Gilead’s Executive Vice-President of Corporate and Medical Affairs spoke, activists rushed the room bringing Alton a cow’s liver on a silver platter chanting “Pills Cost Pennies, Greed Costs Lives” and a variety of other slogans. Alton and other Gilead executives have defended the price of the drugs claiming that the treatment is cheaper than a liver transplant, but the activists respond by noting that most people with the hepatitis C virus have net to be diagnosed and have little hope of a liver transplant.
Hepatitis C is prevalent among people who inject drugs, and widespread in low and middle-income countries. Worldwide, an estimated 150 million people have Hepatitis C and it kills 500,000 people every year.