September 8, 2018

HIV Activists Launch #BreakThePatent Campaign and National Plan for Generics and Lower-Cost Truvada for HIV Prevention in the U.S.

Written by Terri Wilder, M.S.W.

NYC-based HIV activists Jason Walker and Emily Sanderson think that, just like the cost of rent, pre-exposure prophylaxis PrEP is too damn expensive. To address the cost of accessing PrEP, they are among a group of activists who launched #BreakThePatent, a campaign advocating to make the generic form of Truvada (FTC/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) available in the U.S. or to greatly reduce the price of the Gilead drug so that communities most in need can have access to it. They sat down with TheBody at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam to discuss the white paper they recently launched, detailing their national plan of action for universal PrEP access in the U.S.

Terri Wilder, M.S.W.: So, this is an exciting week. You have just released a National Action Plan for universal access to PrEP in the United States. Start out by just telling me a little bit about what is PrEP4All, and then, we’ll dive right in, talk about the National Action Plan and what’s in that.

Emily Sanderson: So, PrEP4All is a group that started when we realized that Gilead Sciences was withholding PrEP due to pricing from people who needed it most to prevent HIV. And we realized that most of the research that was done to develop PrEP was done with American taxpayer money, and then Gilead came in and bought the patent.

We formed this group so that we could inform people and change the policy and change the access to Truvada as PrEP.

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