The Trump administration has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against pharmaceutical manufacturer Gilead Sciences over sales of Truvada, a drug used to prevent the spread of the HIV virus, which was invented and patented by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control. “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,” said Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar in a press release Wednesday night. HHS said Gilead had “willfully and deliberatively induced infringement of the HHS patents,” and profited off of research funded by taxpayers. The department said that despite efforts by the government to reach an agreement, Gilead has “repeatedly refused to obtain licenses for the use of the HHS patents.’’ The Washington Post reports the high cost of Truvada, $20,000 a year, has been criticized by activists. Gilead earned $3 billion on sales of the drug in 2018.
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