AHF made the request informal letters to each of the major AIDS drug makers: Abbott Labs, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Genentech, Gilead, Merck, Tibotec, and ViiV.
In the letter, AHF’s President Michael Weinstein states: “On behalf of the thousands of Americans whose access to life-saving care is threatened, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) requests that you reduce drug prices for AIDS Drug Assistance Programs.
One of our biggest concerns regarding pricing is that each subsequent generation of AIDS drugs are priced higher than the previous one. New [anti-retrovirals], such as Isentress (made by Merck) and Reyataz (made by Bristol-Myers Squibb), are driving up costs in ADAP to the point that paying for one of these drugs means fewer people can be served using existing funds (the crisis we now find ourselves in).
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation press release adds:
A 20% price reduction (or rebate in applicable states) will enable ADAPs to provide lifesaving treatment to all those who need it. Moreover, this discount will have negligible impact on your company’s revenue from the ADAP program. ADAP budgets for purchasing drugs are fixed– as evidenced by the waiting lists – which means that drug companies will receive all of the money available to the program regardless of pricing. The only question is, given the cost of drugs, how many people ADAPs will be able to serve with this set pot of funds.
A Drug Assistance Program watch update: