AIDS 2014: Activists Hold Die-In to Protest High Price of Gilead’s Hepatitis C Drug

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.

Photo by Alissa SadlerMELBOURNE, 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 AIDS2014postcheaper 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.

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