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A new report out today from Americans for Tax Fairness explains how a pharmaceutical company, Gilead Sciences, games the system to charge high prices, shift profits offshore and avoid billions in U.S. taxes.Gilead sells a drug called Sovaldi, which is used to treat the hepatitis C virus.
The drug was developed with taxpayer funds by a researcher who worked at the Department of Veterans Affairs and founded a small drug company.
Gilead bought the company for $11 billion, acquired the government-provided monopoly rights and set the price at $1,000 per pill, or $84,000 per treatment in 2013.U.S. public and private insurers, taxpayers and patients spent more money on Sovaldi in 2014 than on any other prescription drug. Gilead made its investment back in less than a year.
If gone untreated, hepatitis C can end in what one nurse-practitioner called “some of the worst deaths I’ve ever seen.” She said, “At the end, you die not knowing who you are, your belly looks 12 months pregnant, you’re malnourished, and you’re bleeding to death.”
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