MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Activists surprised Gilead corporate executives today with a “die-in” to protest the pricing of Gilead’s hepatitis C drug, Solvaldi (sofosbuvir). As Gregg Alton, Gilead’s Executive Vice-President of Corporate and Medical Affairs spoke, activists rushed the room bringing Alton a cow’s liver on a silver platter chanting “Pills Cost Pennies, Greed Costs Lives” and a variety of other slogans. Alton and other Gilead executives have defended the price of the drugs claiming that the treatment is cheaper than a liver transplant.
Hepatitis C is prevalent among people who inject drugs, and widespread in low and middle-income countries. Worldwide, an estimated 150 million people have hepatitis C and it kills an estimated 500,000 people every year.