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Patient Groups Push Oppose Gilead’s Costly HIV Prevention Tablet

Gilead Sciences hopes to introduce a pricey new tablet soon to prevent HIV in people prone to contracting the infection; however, the drug manufacturer faces opposition from an unexpected source: affected person advocates.

Such groups have traditionally lobbied for insurance coverage of newer HIV drugs despite the expense. However, at least three U.S. groups now question whether or not Gilead’s Descovy would be the best choice for most people at risk of exposure.

A generic version of the existing prevention tablet, Truvada, is due in the US in September 2020, which ought to bring down prices and give many more individuals access to the remedy, they say.

Their resistance is being sounded by some insurers, that are hinting that price will likely be a barrier to protecting Descovy.

Truvada, also made by Gilead, has been used to treat people affected by HIV since 2004. It was accepted as a daily tablet for pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, in 2012, and stays the only preventive therapy on the U.S. market.

Descovy, proven to be less poisonous than Truvada to the kidneys and bones in medical trials, was authorized in 2016 for people already hit with HIV. Advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggested on Wednesday that the agency approve Descovy to reduce the chance of sexually acquired HIV in men and transgender females who’ve sex with males.

When asked about the patient teams’ criticism, Gilead said Descovy is safer than Truvada and offers more potent delivery of its antiviral element, leading to a higher concentration of the drug in cells where HIV epidemic can occur.

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