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Press Release

Columnist Shreds Gilead’s Lame Excuses for Sky-High Drug Prices, Notes ‘Yes on Issue 2’ Campaign

Ohio Taxpayers for Lower Drug Prices
Posted on: 27 Oct 17

In a recent Wall Street Journal interview, Gilead Sciences’ CEO John Martin repeated the tired old sob story that drug prices are so high because it costs so much to develop new drugs. But veteran newspaper columnist Michael Hiltzik isn’t buying. In the Los Angeles Times column, Hiltzik — a Pulitzer Prize winner for beat reporting — righteously pointed out, for example, that Gilead used most of its profits to enrich its executives and shareholders, not fund research and development (R&D). In 2016, Gilead reported profits of $13.5 billion, and R&D costs of $5 billion.

The same disconnect in 2015. Hiltzik also noted that Gilead’s “hard work” to develop its drugs is a myth. Its hepatitis C drugs (Harvoni and Sovaldi) were acquired from the purchase of Pharmassett, a little drug company that did all the research. Same with Gilead’s new six-figure cancer drug — Gilead got its hands on the patent when it bought Kite Pharmaceuticals — which did all the innovative heavy-lifting. Hiltzik also reminded readers that internal Gilead documents showed the company could make a nice profit selling Sovaldi for $55,000 but finally settled on an $84,000 pricetag — because it could get away with it.

Gilead Sciences & Its History of Profits Over People

  • Complains drug prices are high because of R&D costs.
  • In 2016, Gilead reported profits of $13.5 billion, and R&D costs of $5 billion.
  • Their “hard work” to develop drugs is a myth — they often come through company acquisitions.
  • Internal Gilead documents showed the company could make a nice profit selling a drug for $55,000, but they opted for a $84,000 pricetag, knowing it would deprive people of the lifesaving drug.

Source: Los Angeles Times.

Background on Ohio Ballot Issue 2

The Yes on Issue 2 campaign is a broad-based, bi-partisan coalition. More than 200,000 Ohio voters signed petitions to put an amendment on the ballot in November that will lower drug prices for over 4 million Ohioans, including 164,000 children, save taxpayers $400 million annually, reduce healthcare costs for everyone and teach greedy drug companies and their CEOs a lesson.

You can learn more by visiting or following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Paid for by Ohio Taxpayers for Lower Drug Prices

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Last updated on: 27/10/2017

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