Oversight Democrats seek answers on potential HHS/Gilead deal

Oversight Democrats seek answers on potential HHS/Gilead deal
© Greg Nash

House Oversight Committee ChairmanElijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsKey races to watch in Tuesday's primaries The Postal Service collapse that isn't happening House Democrat reintroduces bill to reduce lobbyist influence MORE (D-Md.), Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Former Rep. Delaney says Trump is spewing venom when he should be leading; Protests roil the nation as fears of new virus outbreaks grow Is the 'endless frontier' at an end? Hillicon Valley: Twitter flags Trump tweet for 'glorifying violence' | Cruz calls for criminal investigation into Twitter over alleged sanctions violations | Senators urge FTC to investigate TikTok child privacy issues MORE (D-Calif.) wrote a letter asking a drugmaker for information on its relationship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wednesday.

Last month, the CDC announced Gilead would donate an annual 2 million bottles of HIV-prevention drug Truvada for PrEP.

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The CDC holds multiple patents on the drug, whose discovery was the result of federally-funded research. In May, Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day testified to the Committee that the amount of Gilead’s donation to the CDC was “requested and discussed with” the CDC and that the company would have donated more if asked.

The committee Democrats wrote that they are seeking to understand whether the donation was in any way tied to patents registered in the U.S., as Gilead has taken the position that the government’s patents are not valid.

“We would like to understand whether these patents played any role in negotiations between the company and the Department of Health and Human Services and whether Gilead has otherwise engaged in negotiations with the U.S. government regarding these patents,” they wrote.

The letter requests all documents and communications between HHS and CDC employees regarding any Truvada donations, as well as communications between Gilead and the agencies.

The three Democrats further request data on the cost of goods sold (COGS) of Gilead’s drugs Truvada and Descovy from 2004 through the present, and the total quantity of Truvada sold or distributed in the U.S. through commercial insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The letter also asks for any communications relating to price increases for Truvada, including those on the reasons behind the increases and deliberations over whether to hike the price, and documents and communications regarding price increases for Truvada relating to the Food and Drug Administration’s 2012 approval of Truvada for PreEP.