AIDS Profiteers Declare War

Encouraging news about the clinical benefit of protease inhibitors means nothing if people do not have access to these drugs. By pricing drugs as high as the market will bear without opening their books to give even the slghtest justification to the cost, drug companies have declared war on people with HIV throughout the world. Their profiteering ensures that these drugs will at best bankrupt government health care programs and at worst be deined to millions of people worldwide.

declared war by setting the then highest-price for an anti-HIV drug, even though saquanivir is under-dosed and under-absorbed in its current form.

declared war by demanding an even higher price for ritonavir and by limiting access before approval to a 1,000 lottery, claiming severely limited drug supply. Two months later,a fter FDA approval, enough drug to stock every pharmacy int he U.S. miraculously appeared! Such deceit is intolerable.

declared was by dispensing indinavir through a single pharmacy that added such an extreme markup tot he drug's price that activist had to go to jail to get the price lowered! While the current price is lower than other protease inhibitors, it is still unacceptable without justification.

These companies have simply continued a long tradition of price-gouging begun by Glaxo-Wellcome (then Burroughs-Wellcome) and others:

declared war by refusing for years to offer any discounts to publicly funded health programs in the U.S. Pfizer drained millions of precious dollars from these programs, and then refuses to conduct any AIDS-related research.

declared war by demanding the highest price for any AIDS-related drug in hisotry - $35,000 a year for foscarnet, a CMV treament - even thought he vast majority of the research as publicly funded. Repeated calls for a price reduction have been ignored.

declared war by demanding $1,000 a week for human growth hormone before it received FDA approval for AIDS wasting. While ACT UP pressure has forced Serono to agree to an annual price cap, Serono still refuse to justify its price.

declared war nu increasing the price of oxandrolone - a 30 year old anti-wasting treatment - over 1,200% after its usefulness in AIDS was shown.

These are just a few examples of why we must begin a relentless campaign against these price gougers to demand that they:

Drop Their Prices or Open Their Books

Drug prices must be economically appropriate to each country. To demand obscene profit margins off the backs of people with AIDS, or to make access for people in developing countries unimaginable, is criminal. If the drug companies are so sure that their prices are ethical, why have they consistently refused to alow any independent auditor to look at their actual costs.

If they have nothing to hide, why are they hiding?

Declare War on AIDS Profiteers.
Whose Side are You On?

Back to Vancouver Index