Trump Administration Sues Gilead for Patient Infringement

Nov 11, 2019 | CDC, HIV, Patent Law, PrEP, Trump Administration, TRUVADA

Trump Administration Sues Gilead for Patient Infringement

The Trump administration has sued Gilead Sciences alleging patent infringement over its drugs to prevent the spread of HIV.  The lawsuit alleges that Gilead has benefited from massive profits thanks to Truvada and Descovy drugs that in fact have been patented by the federal government. The initial discovery was developed by scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reported that Gilead refused to obtain licenses for the use of the drugs with prices at around $20,000.

Exploitation of Vulnerable People?

TrialSite News discussed the Gilead  and U.S. government patent situation few knew this past summer. The $3 billion Truvada has brought great profits and was the subject of U.S. congressional inquiry that included questioning of Gilead’s CEO on the matter of exorbitant pricing.

A Rare Move

Well, lawsuits are not that rare for Mr. Trump. But what is rare is the kind of lawsuit. Now the U.S. government led by Trump commences a lawsuit spearheaded by HHS.  Secretary Alex Azar noted “HHS recognizes Gilead’s role in selling Truvada and Descovy to patients for prevention of HIV. Communities have put these drugs to use in saving lives.” He continued, “However, Gilead must respect the U.S. patent system, the groundbreaking work by CDC researchers, and the substantial taxpayer contributions to the development of these drugs.”


Trump’s position in this topical area includes the ending of HIV within ten years all the while by lowering drug prices. The drugs are known as PrEP. An activist HIV-focused group known as PrEP4All praises the recent lawsuit.

Gilead Response

Gilead is on record that they invented the drugs and that the government patents are “invalid.” Moreover, they record $1.1 billion in R&D to secure FDA approval back in 2004. Gilead seeks a stay of the lawsuit till patent claims filed by the San Francisco-area biotech are resolved.