TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

What is the true research & development costs for my HIV medication Atripla manufactured by Gilead?

I've heard PhRMA CEOs qoute that it cost $1.2 Billion dollars to bring a new medicine to market. While I acknowledge pharmaceuticals is a high risk enterprise, I'm skeptical of this figure and thought, as a patient dependent on an expensive medication to survive, asking the TED universe would be useful.

I take Atripla, the most common one pill once a day treatment prescribed in US, for my HIV. My Atripla cost $60 a pill. I know manufacturers in India produce a generic version, Vidicay, for substantially less. I also know Atripla, in some respects, is an example of evergreening given the single pill is actually 3 separate medications in one.

The main reason I'm asking this is I am working diligently to protect public health from being compromised by the IP provisions of the Trans Pacific Partnership and the TTIP.

In my work I often speak with people about the global successes of scaling up HIV treatments through generic medicines. I speak with people about my life as well and in so doing, it would be useful for me to know the true R & D cost that went into my medication. An answer I have found to be very tough to come by.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Apr 17 2014: It boggles my mind that we allow the private sector to dominate drug research and patenting when we all know profit is their principle goal. Something as important as our health should remain in the hands of the community, the state not profiteers. .

    There are all kinds of drugs that would be far more accessible to us if the profit factor was removed from the equation, especially for seniors and the poorly paid. And in particular, drugs for rare illnesses that the privateers charge exorbitant fees in order to satisfy their rapaciousness.

    Generic drugs are an excellent example of what happens when profiteering is removed from the process because those drugs differ from the brand names only in the fact that the privateers patent - monopoly - has ended and the real cost and acceptable profit margin is now apparent. If the state held that patent we all would benefit from that monopoly, especially our universities whose research centers are already highly coveted by the privateers in a variety of areas that they see huge profits in at our expense.

    But that would be too simple or egalitarian.

    And don't bother with the nonsense that the private sector is somehow superior to the public sector in providing anything.. In both instances it is all about who you employ - and many come from those same universities anyways - and what infrastructure and resources you provide them with.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.