Boehringer, Gilead Freeze Antiretroviral Prices for Some U.S. Agencies
Pharmaceutical companies Boehringer Ingelheim and Gilead Sciences are freezing the prices of their antiretroviral drugs for select agencies in the U.S., the AIDS Healthcare Foundation announced on Tuesday, Bloomberg reports. Gilead will freeze the prices on its antiretrovirals Viread, Truvada and Emtriva for the U.S. Public Health Service, the Federal Supply Service and state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs, according to company spokesperson Amy Flood. The price freeze will be effective through Dec. 31, 2010, according to AHF. The wholesale acquisition cost is $552 monthly for Viread, $329 monthly for Emtriva and $840 monthly for Truvada, Flood said. She added that government purchasers generally receive partial rebates from the prices. "We share your concern regarding antiretroviral cost pressures faced by government payers, particularly during times of limited budget access and flat funding," Gregg Alton, senior vice president and general counsel at Gilead, said in a letter to AHF.
Boehringer will freeze the price of its antiretroviral Aptivus for ADAPs through May 1, 2009, according to AHF. The price freeze became effective May 1, according to a Boehringer letter to AHF. Boehringer spokesperson Judith von Gordon did not return calls for comment, Bloomberg reports.
"We urge the other drug companies to follow [Boehringer's] and Gilead's lead and to freeze price increases that create an unnecessary burden on an already overburdened public health system and keep lifesaving drugs out of reach for those who need them," AHF President Michael Weinstein said. AHF called on companies to freeze their prices because of issues government agencies have had in increasing access to antiretrovirals (Lauerman, Bloomberg, 6/3). Reponses from Abbott Laboratories, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Pfizer, Roche and Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Tibotec Therapeutics "reiterated the companies' commitment to increasing access but made no specific pledge with regard to" price freezes, according to an AHF release (AHF release, 6/3).