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Date: 2024-07-24 Page is: DBtxt003.php txt00022123

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls out big pharma executive for his corporation’s pricing thuggery

Original article:
Some people were annoyed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) when she was elected to Congress from the Bronx (NY) and got a huge amount of media attention. I found AOC very very refreshing beacause (1) her personal family back story was thought provoking and (2) her education and her analysis of society were very much in line with my own understanding of the issues that need to be addressed.
The way in which she mobilized data to highlight the appalling behavior of the corporate world was very refreshing. I have been appalled by the amazing ineffectiveness of the modern system of regulation and oversight to hold business accountable for its quesionable behavior. My disgust at this goes back many years ... decades ... when it became apparent to me that 'government' was incapable of delivering the sort of oversight that was needed to ensure that business was operating not only in the interest of owners but also the other stakeholders.
In the 1980s and 1990s my concern was centered on way in which society (workers and consumers) were losing while owners were winning it all. More recently I have expanded my concern to include environment as a loser as well. Owners have done exceptionally well, but everyone else has not.
AOC articulates this better than most ... and for this I am grateful.
The situation in the US health sector is an absolute disgrace ... and little or nothing has been done about it for a very long time. I have been fortunate to be blessed with pretty good health, so I have not had a lot of interaction with the health sector, but I have had some. As in most business / economic situations there are big differences between the people who make the economic (business) deciaions and those that make the technical decisions. Several times I have had conversations with doctors at the top of their profession who have shared their frustration with how their industry functions and their inability to argue the case for a more effective way to deliver better health to society. Medical technology has progressed over the period of my adult lifetime, but the actual improvement in health and quality of life has not been keeping up. This is a systemic structural problem that is not being addressed.
Peter Burgess
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls out big pharma executive for his corporation’s pricing thuggery

Written by Egberto Willies

February 21st, 2022 (in Medium)
Alexandria Ocasio Cortez calls out big pharma executive for his corporation's pricing thuggery


May 17, 2019 (Accessed April 2022)

Egberto Willies

22.8K subscribers

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez once showed the latitude of a politician that does not owe her office significant monied interest, the plutocracy. She called out big pharma, Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day for ripping off Americans on their AIDS drug Truvada.

#AOC #AlexandriaOcasioCortez #BayhDoleAct
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez once showed the latitude of a politician that does not owe her office to the monied interest, the plutocracy. She called out big pharma, Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day for ripping off Americans with the pricing of their AIDS drug Truvada.

According to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the AIDS drug Truvada cost $8 in Australia and almost $2,000 in the United States per month. As noted by this Republican Congressman, the GOP machine makes a mistake by engaging AOC because she is smart and always prepared at hearings. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez first confirmed the drug pricing in the hearing. She then castigated the Gilead Sciences CEO.
“I think it’s important here that we notice that we the public, we the people, developed this drug. We paid for this drug, we lead and developed all the patents to create Prep and then that patent has been privatized despite the fact that the patent is owned by the public, who refused to enforce it,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said. “There’s no reason this should be $2,000 a month. People are dying because of it and there’s no enforceable reason for it.”
The path to the privatization of Truvada which is comprised of two major drugs, Tenofovir disoproxil and Emtricitabine (Viread & Emtriva) — the latter was discovered by three doctors at Emory University — is described in the following press release.
Foster City, CA, New York, NY and Atlanta, GA, July 18, 2005 — Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) and Royalty Pharma today announced that the companies have entered into an agreement with Emory University providing for the purchase of the royalty interest owed to Emory for emtricitabine, also known as Emtriva®. Under the terms of the agreement, Gilead and Royalty Pharma will make a one-time cash payment of $525 million to Emory in exchange for elimination of the emtricitabine royalties due to Emory on worldwide net sales of the product. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close on or before July 29, 2005.

Gilead and Royalty Pharma will pay 65 and 35 percent, respectively, of the $525 million cash payment to Emory. Following this transaction, Gilead will be obligated to pay to Royalty Pharma royalty revenue based on all future emtricitabine net sales relative to Royalty Pharma’s contribution to the Emory royalty buyout. Gilead will continue to have obligations to pay certain royalties to GlaxoSmithKline, fulfilling Emory’s obligations under a previous agreement. Within 30 days of closing, Emory and certain inventors of emtricitabine may acquire interests in Royalty Pharma approximating up to 25 percent of the proceeds payable by Royalty Pharma in the transaction.
Lazard is acting as financial advisor to Gilead and Citigroup is acting as financial advisor to Emory and the inventors.

The University’s share of the transaction will be reinvested in Emory’s research mission following the terms of the Bayh-Dole Act passed by Congress in 1980 to encourage commercialization of research by universities.

Note that they made sure to give the genesis of this thievery some modicum of ethics by name dropping the Bayh-Dole Act. In short, politicians give entities who use taxpayer research dollars, authorization to capitalize and profit from the commercialization of inventions and discoveries. In other words, socialism for corporations and recipients of government research grants and subsidies.

The thing is, the government has recourse when the corporations in the private sector ripoff the consumer. There are provisions in the law that makes that clear.
  • Grant to the government a nonexclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, paid-up license to practice or have practiced for or on behalf of the United States the subject invention throughout the world;
  • Require in exclusive licenses to use or sell in the United States that products will be manufactured substantially in the United States; and
  • Agree to allow the government to “march in” and require licenses to be granted, or to grant licenses, in certain circumstances, such as if the organization has not taken effective steps to achieve practical application of the invention.
The government develops most drugs and inventions with your tax dollars. The government has recourse to use its patent to make things better almost immediately. Only the complicity of politicians allows the Plutocracy to rob us day in and day out.
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