The securities lawyers at Gibbs Law Group are investigating possible legal claims on behalf of investors of Gilead Sciences. On November 6, 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sued Gilead, accusing the company of violating patents owned by the U.S. Government related to Truvada, Gilead’s HIV prevention drug.   If you are a GILD investor, you may have legal claims. Speak with an experienced securities lawyer to learn more about your options.

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Gilead Sued by U.S. Government for Patent Violations

On November 6, 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services filed a lawsuit against Gilead Sciences, accusing the company of infringing on government patents on Truvada, and the idea of “PrEP,” or pre-exposure prophylaxis, which can prevent H.I.V. with a daily pill.

According to the New York Times, the lawsuit “bluntly accused Gilead of exaggerating its role in developing pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, ignoring work by government scientists and ‘baselessly denying’ the validity of federal patents.”

The lawsuit specifically alleges that CDC researchers began studying the preventive use of HIV treatment drugs — like tenofovir, or TDF, and emtricitabine, FTC, the two compounds in a Truvada tablet — as early as 1998, before Gilead sought a patent.

Discussing the lawsuit, Alex Azar II,  the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services stated:

Gilead must respect the U.S. patent system, the groundbreaking work by researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the substantial taxpayer contributions to the development of these drugs.”

PrEP: $20,000 per patient per year for Truvada

PrEP is a drug regimen in which a person at risk of contracting H.I.V. is prescribed one of two drugs to be taken once daily to prevent the infection. The drugs approved for us on this regimen, Truvada and Descovy, are both made by Gilead.  The PrEP regimen is said to cut the risk of H.I.V. infection by more than 99 percent.

The cost of Truvada has received a lot of media attention in recent years for its cost of approximately $20,000 per patient per year.  In other countries, generic versions of Truvada are said to sell for as little as $60 a year.

As reported by the New York Times,  if the court finds that Gilead’s infringement was “willful,” it could trigger a provision for enhanced damages, which could total up to $3 billion.

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