Gilead HIV Antiretroviral Antitrust

DEFENDANT NAME: Gilead Sciences Inc., Gilead Holdings LLC, Gilead Sciences LLC, Gilead Sciences Ireland UC, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, E.R. Squibb & Sons LLC, Japan Tobacco Inc., Janssen R&D Ireland, Johnson & Johnson Inc.
STOCK SYMBOL:
CASE NUMBER: 3:19-cv-02573
CASE NAME: Peter Staley, et al. v. Gilead Sciences, Inc., et al.
COURT: U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
STATUS:
CLASS PERIOD:
LEAD PLAINTIFF DEADLINE:
DATE FILED: 05/14/19
COURT LOCATION:

Co-lead Counsel Appointed

Steve W. Berman has been appointed co-lead counsel by Judge Chen.  Read the court's order »

Big Pharma illegally raised the price of 17 different anti-HIV medications, costing consumers more for treatment.

Hagens Berman filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against drug manufacturer Gilead and other players including Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Meyers Squibb and others for knowingly colluding to raise the price of anti-HIV drugs, illegally raising the price of treatment for the 1 million people in the U.S. living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV) infection.

The firm’s investigation shows that the anticompetitive conduct allowed Gilead to monopolize the market for all anti-HIV drugs, causing substantial price increases in all of them.

Which HIV Drugs Are Affected?

The following 17 drugs have been affected by the price-fixing scheme: 

  • Truvada
  • Descovy
  • Atripla
  • Genvoya
  • Odefsey
  • Viread
  • Emtriva
  • Complera
  • Stribild
  • Vemlidy
  • Reyataz
  • Evotaz
  • Prezista
  • Prezcobix
  • Edurant
  • Symtuza
  • Tybost

The Impact

The cost of the most frequently prescribed HIV treatment regimens in the United States exceeds $40,000 per year, despite equivalent, FDA approved, generic regimens costing less than $100 per year in other countries.

The exorbitant cost of HIV treatment in the United States presents a large number of barriers both to individuals living with HIV attempting to access HIV treatment and to public health systems attempting to end the HIV epidemic. Currently the Federal Government alone spends more than $20 billion on HIV treatment, with the largest programs spending the majority of these funds on purchasing HIV medications.

DRUG PRICE-FIXING EXPLAINED

The lawsuit states that Gilead knowingly entered into anticompetitive agreements separately with Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen and Japan Tobacco for the use of Gilead's tenoforvir (TDF) and emtricitabine in combination pills, commonly known as "single tablet regimens," with the other defendants' anti-HIV drugs. Gilead's co-conspirators agreed not to make the combo pills with generic TDF once it became available and with generic FTC once it becomes available. These generic-TDF-based combo pills, if they had been allowed, would have been much less expensive.

Gilead's new line of TAF-based combo pills also prevented Janssen and Japan Tobacco from making those products with generic TAF.

The complaint also alleges that Gilead intentionally made TDF-based Stribild less safe in order to enhance its marketing message that TAF-based Genvoya was safer.

The plaintiffs also allege that Gilead included anticompetitive provisions in its patent litigation settlements with generic manufacturers for Viread, Truvada, and Atripla. The complaint asserts that those settlement agreements included provisions that protected the principal generic manufacturer, Teva Pharmaceuticals, from competition from other generic manufacturers. In exchange, according to the lawsuit, Teva agreed to delay launching the first generic versions of Viread, Truvada, and Atripla. Without those anticompetitive provisions, attorneys say, Teva would have launched a generic version of Viread earlier than December 2017, and would launch generic versions of Truvada and Atripla earlier than the September 2020 date that Gilead recently announced.

TOP PHARMA ANTITRUST FIRM

Hagens Berman is one of the most successful litigation law firms in the U.S. and has achieved more than $260 billion in settlements against Big Pharma, tobacco companies, automakers, big banks and others.


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09/09/19: Co-lead Counsel Appointed

Steve W. Berman has been appointed co-lead counsel by Judge Chen.  Read the court's order »

07/01/19: Consolidated Complaint Filed

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