LOS ANGELES--(AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the nation’s largest HIV/AIDS nonprofit medical provider and a vocal critic of runaway drug pricing and AIDS drug profiteering, today criticized John Martin, CEO of Gilead Sciences, the leading HIV/AIDS drug maker, for cashing out at the public’s expense over his recent sale of 145,450 shares of Gilead stock (worth about $8.5 million), which according to the website SeekingAlpha.com, took place on September 4th. Martin had over $54.5 million in reported compensation last year at Gilead, an amount that placed him 10th on Forbes’ List of the 100 highest paid CEOs in the United States.)--
“…disappointment and controversy within the larger HIV community”
Martin’s stock sale followed on the heels of news early last week that Gilead chose to set its Wholesale Acquisition Price (WAC) for Stribild, its latest entry in the AIDS drug market, a four-in-one, once-a-day tablet—at $28,500 per patient, per year—a record price for a first line combination therapy and a price that led to some,“…disappointment and controversy within the larger HIV community,” according to a separate press release issued by the ADAP Crisis Task Force (ACTF) of the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD). Gilead manufactures the most commonly prescribed HIV/AIDS drugs, as well as some of the highest priced ones. Stribild entered the market priced 37% higher than Atripla, Gilead’s best selling HIV/AIDS combination therapy.
“It’s apparently no longer enough for John Martin, Gilead’s CEO, to be one of the highest paid executives in the nation. Last year, he made tens of millions of dollars by selling lifesaving medications at such high prices that thousands of Americans in desperate need could not access them and were placed on waiting lists,” said Michael Weinstein, AHF’s President. “Now, on the heels of setting a record wholesale price for Stribild, Martin cashes out over 145,000 shares of his stock, after the stock enjoyed a healthy bump following the pricing announcement for Stribild. Greed certainly pays! Meanwhile, despite recent price concessions negotiated in secret with the ADAP Crisis Task Force, the price of Stribild will wreak havoc with hard-hit and cash-strapped states and aid programs like Medicaid and Medicare. People living with HIV/AIDS, their families, friends and communities should be up in arms over this sort of corporate greed in the face of life-or-death need, as it is the taxpayers who foot the bill for government health care programs—like state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs, a significant contributor to Gilead’s—and John Martin’s—profit margin and wealth.”
According to the SeekingAlpha.com website, “John Martin sold 145,450 shares on September 4 and currently holds 1,989,938 shares of the company. Dr. Martin joined Gilead Sciences in 1990 and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer.”
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 176,756 individuals in 27 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare.