The Trump administration sued Gilead Sciences late Wednesday, alleging patent infringement of important drugs to prevent the spread of HIV.
In a rare move, the administration accused the company of reaping profits from Truvada and Descovy when the patents were actually owned by the government, after researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed the breakthrough funds.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said that Gilead had refused to obtain licenses for the use of state patents.
Gilead has come under criticism for the cost of the drugs ̵[ads1]1; around $ 20,000 – which are crucial to efforts to prevent the spread of HIV.
“HHS recognizes Gilead's role in selling Truvada and Descovy to HIV prevention patients. Communities have used these drugs to save lives and reduce the spread of HIV, said health worker Alex Azar in a statement.
"However, Gilead must respect the American patent system, the pioneering work of CDC researchers and the significant taxpayers' contributions to the development of these drugs," he added. "The complaint that was filed today seeks to ensure that they do."
President Trump Donald John TrumpBiden allies see boost in Tuesday's election results Sanders pledges to end Trump's policy as he unveils immigration proposal Republicans warn election results are & # 39; for Trump MER in his state of the Union earlier this year set a goal to end the HIV epidemic in ten years. Trump has also been fighting high drug prices.
The decision on the drugs, also known as PrEP, drew some rare praise from the Democrats for the Trump administration on Wednesday night.
The PrEP4All group, which has pushed HHS for action, also praised the decision.
"For nearly a decade, Gilead's price review on PrEP has prevented hundreds of thousands of Americans from accessing this life-saving drug, despite the fact that it is a taxpayer-funded invention," said in a statement. "If HHS is really invested in ending the HIV epidemic, it will use these patents as leverage to ensure that anyone in need of PrEP can get it."