Gilead settles HIV medication delay lawsuit for $40M

Gilead settles HIV medication delay lawsuit for $40M

Gilead Sciences has agreed to a $40 million settlement to address claims that it delayed releasing a safer HIV treatment, prioritizing profits over patient safety. The legal dispute involves over 2,000 plaintiffs who argue that Gilead’s older HIV drugs, based on tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), such as Viread and Truvada, caused kidney and bone damage. They claim Gilead should have launched its newer, less harmful drug, tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (TAF) earlier.

Key Points:

  • Settlement Proposal: Gilead proposed a $40 million settlement to resolve the claims of most plaintiffs, while denying any wrongdoing or liability. This settlement aims to avoid the costs and distractions of prolonged litigation.
  • Nature of the Claims: Plaintiffs allege Gilead delayed the introduction of the safer TAF-based drugs to maximize profits which resulted in unnecessary harm.
  • Gilead’s Defense: Gilead maintains that at the time, the long-term safety of TAF was uncertain and that their decision to prioritize TDF development was based on the information available in 2004. They assert that one cannot claim damages for a product that isn’t proven to be defective.
  • Ongoing Litigation: The settlement does not cover all plaintiffs. Those not participating in the agreement, as well as others outside the settlement, will continue their legal battles. Gilead pledges to vigorously defend these cases.
  • California State Case: Separate from this settlement, Gilead is also facing state litigation in California, with a significant negligence claim under review by the California Supreme Court. This case involves broader allegations from around 24,000 TDF users who argue Gilead withheld TAF’s development to prolong TDF profits.

This settlement highlights the ongoing tensions between pharmaceutical companies’ profit motives and their obligations to patient safety which sometimes results in pharmaceutical fraud. If you wish to report, consult with a pharmaceutical fraud lawyer to learn about your rights.