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AHF Zaps Gilead with Lively AIDS Drug Protest During Swank Goldman Sachs Confab in Rancho Palos Verdes

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

On Wednesday morning, June 8th, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, zapped AIDS drug kingpin Gilead Sciences with an "only-in-California" AIDS drug pricing protest in the form of a rolling caravan during the annual Goldman Sachs Healthcare Investor Conference being held at the exclusive Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. (View AP protest photos)

The protest caravan featured a hearse, a double-deck bus and 40+ cars outfitted with "Gilead Greed Kills" banners and placards as well as a small plane towing a "Gilead Greed Kills" banner over the resort. The protest came about following a blistering LA Times article that exposed the pharmaceutical giant's patent manipulation of its best-selling HIV drugs containing tenofovir.

The LA Times article details Gilead researchers' early and promising clinical trials of TAF, a safer and more effective version of their existing HIV medication tenofovir. However, trials of the newer tenofovir compound were abruptly stopped by Gilead executives in 2004, a few years after they began, in order that Gilead could direct its R&D efforts toward "…other research."

In a lawsuit filed earlier this year, AHF alleges that Gilead halted its early research of TAF in order to extend its patent on its existing HIV medication, which yielded billions of dollars in annual sales. While Gilead argues that the move was only to shift attention toward another type of HIV medicine, their lawyers also maintain that the company "had no duty to develop, test, seek approval of, or launch its new product on any particular timetable." Meanwhile, HIV patients only had access to the more-harmful version of Gilead's drug, which had damaging effects on their kidneys and bones.

In response to Gilead's patent manipulation for higher profits, AHF is also asking Congress and the FDA to conduct a formal investigation of Gilead as well as increased scrutiny of the actions of pharmaceutical companies. AHF also is running a print ad in several LGBT news outlets across the country highlighting the issue. View more Gilead protest PHOTOS here.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 611,000 individuals in 36 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Ged Kenslea, +1-323-308-1833
Senior Director, Communications
gedk@aidshealth.org
mobile: +1-323-791-5526
or
Christopher Johnson, +1-323-960-4846
Associate Director, Communications
Christopher.johnson@aidshealth.org
mobile: +1-310-880-9913