Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez once showed the latitude of a politician that does not owe her office to the monied interest, the plutocracy. She called out big pharma, Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day for ripping off Americans with the pricing of their AIDS drug Truvada.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slams Gilead Sciences' CEO
According to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the AIDS drug Truvada cost $8 in Australia and almost $2,000 in the United States per month. As noted by this Republican Congressman, the GOP machine makes a mistake by engaging AOC because she is smart and always prepared at hearings.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez first confirmed the drug pricing in the hearing. She then castigated the Gilead Sciences CEO.
"I think it's important here that we notice that we the public, we the people, developed this drug. We paid for this drug, we lead and developed all the patents to create Prep and then that patent has been privatized despite the fact that the patent is owned by the public, who refused to enforce it," Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said. “There’s no reason this should be $2,000 a month. People are dying because of it and there’s no enforceable reason for it.”
The path to the privatization of Truvada which is comprised of two major drugs, Tenofovir disoproxil and Emtricitabine (Viread & Emtriva) -- the latter was discovered by three doctors at Emory University -- is described in the following press release.
Foster City, CA, New York, NY and Atlanta, GA, July 18, 2005 -- Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) and Royalty Pharma today announced that the companies have entered into an agreement with Emory University providing for the purchase of the royalty interest owed to Emory for emtricitabine, also known as Emtriva®. Under the terms of the agreement, Gilead and Royalty Pharma will make a one-time cash payment of $525 million to Emory in exchange for elimination of the emtricitabine royalties due to Emory on worldwide net sales of the product. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close on or before July 29, 2005.
Gilead and Royalty Pharma will pay 65 and 35 percent, respectively, of the $525 million cash payment to Emory. Following this transaction, Gilead will be obligated to pay to Royalty Pharma royalty revenue based on all future emtricitabine net sales relative to Royalty Pharma’s contribution to the Emory royalty buyout. Gilead will continue to have obligations to pay certain royalties to GlaxoSmithKline, fulfilling Emory’s obligations under a previous agreement. Within 30 days of closing, Emory and certain inventors of emtricitabine may acquire interests in Royalty Pharma approximating up to 25 percent of the proceeds payable by Royalty Pharma in the transaction.
Lazard is acting as financial advisor to Gilead and Citigroup is acting as financial advisor to Emory and the inventors.
The University’s share of the transaction will be reinvested in Emory’s research mission following the terms of the Bayh-Dole Act passed by Congress in 1980 to encourage commercialization of research by universities.
Note that they made sure to give the genesis of this thievery some modicum of ethics by name dropping the Bayh-Dole Act. In short, politicians give entities who use taxpayer research dollars, authorization to capitalize and profit from the commercialization of inventions and discoveries. In other words, socialism for corporations and recipients of government research grants and subsidies.
The thing is, the government has recourse when the corporations in the private sector ripoff the consumer. There are provisions in the law that makes that clear.
- Grant to the government a nonexclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, paid-up license to practice or have practiced for or on behalf of the United States the subject invention throughout the world;
- Require in exclusive licenses to use or sell in the United States that products will be manufactured substantially in the United States; and
- Agree to allow the government to "march in" and require licenses to be granted, or to grant licenses, in certain circumstances, such as if the organization has not taken effective steps to achieve practical application of the invention.
The government develops most drugs and inventions with your tax dollars. The government has recourse to use its patent to make things better almost immediately. Only the complicity of politicians allows the Plutocracy to rob us day in and day out.
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