Mass Tort Alleges Gilead Sciences, Inc. Withheld Safer Drugs From HIV/AIDS Patients, Manipulated Patent Timing for Profit, Announces Jenner Law


SAN FRANCISCO, April 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Eight patients who took the popular HIV/AIDS drug Truvada and similar tenofovir-based drugs have sued Gilead Sciences, Inc., claiming the giant pharmaceutical company deliberately withheld a much safer version of these drugs from the market for more than a decade in a patent-timing scheme to maximize profits.

As a result, "hundreds of thousands of HIV-infected patients experienced serious, permanent and sometimes fatal complications that may have been avoided had the company been honest about the safer alternative it had in the wings.

"Instead, Gilead chose to squeeze all the profits it could from the older drugs before their patents expired and then file a new patent on the safer drug, this way extending its dominance in HIV/AIDS anti-viral drugs to 2038," said attorney Robert K. Jenner, Jenner Law, of Baltimore, MD. 

The suit also alleges that Gilead Sciences withheld from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clinical trial results and adverse event reports showing HIV/AIDS drugs using its formulation known as tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) caused far more serious complications than the company reported. Drugs using this formulation were developed and marketed between 2001 and 2015 as Truvada, Viread, Atripla, Complera and Stribild.

The civil complaint was filed April 12, 2019, in the Superior Court of California in the County of San Francisco. The case number is CGC-19-575245. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of California and non-California residents. The complications they suffered include chronic kidney disease or declining kidney function, acute kidney injury, or acute renal failure, osteopenia, osteoporosis and bone fractures.

Gilead Sciences' safer anti-viral HIV treatment formulation, tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (TAF), was patented in 2015, extending the company's dominance in HIV/AIDS drugs until 2038.

"Shockingly, the patent application relied on TAF data the company had before 2005 showing it provided safer treatment because it required much lower dosages than TDF to be effective," Jenner said.  "Very simply, the lower the dosage, the less toxic the potential side effects of any drug. Certainly, this was the case with the TDF and TAF drugs."

The suit estimates Gilead Sciences earned $36 billion on sales of the older medications between 2001 and 2015.

Robert K. Jenner, the managing partner of Jenner Law, has more than 30 years' experience as a leader in suing pharmaceutical and medical device companies. He is the author of treatise on Transfusion-Associated AIDS, the principal treatise on the topic of blood-borne HIV infection, and is the former Chair of the AIDS Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Teresa Kelly, for Jenner Law, (512) 217-8051


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