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Drugmaker will donate HIV prevention meds in push to end epidemic

May 10, 2019 - 10:51 am
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WASHINGTON (1010 WINS/AP) — The Health and Human Services Department announced Thursday that California-Based Gilead Sciences Inc. has agreed to donate medications that reduce the risk of HIV transmission for up to 200,000 people a year.

"Will help us achieve our goal of ending the HIV epidemic in America!" President Donald Trump said in a celebratory tweet.

Gilead will donate its Truvada prevention pill until a second-generation version becomes available. 

The agreement between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Gilead will last until at least December 31, 2025 and possibly through December 31, 2030, and will provide medication to treat individuals who are at risk for HIV and who are uninsured, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II said.

The Trump administration has set a goal of ending the HIV epidemic in the U.S. within 10 years.

Carl Schmid of the AIDS Institute called the donation "a really significant step," saying it will make the drug available to uninsured people. It lists for more than $20,000 per patient, per year.

Gilead Sciences said in a news release that the medication donation is one of the largest ever made in the United States and is part of the company's ongoing initiatives to help ensure that everyone who can benefit from the medicine is able to access it.

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.

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