Lawsuit accuses Gilead Sciences, Inc. of withholding safer HIV drug to make more money
SAN FRANCISCO, Cal. – Civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump has teamed up with Bob Hilliard and the Hilliard Martinez Gonzales trial team to represent plaintiffs in personal injury litigation against Gilead Sciences Inc. The lawsuit, filed in 2018, accuses Gilead of intentionally withholding a safer HIV drug, TAF, to extend Gilead’s patent exclusivity within its HIV franchise, until the patent on the less safe Viread (also known as TDF) was set to expire. Gilead’s actions resulted in billions in profits while jeopardizing the health and lives of hundreds of thousands of HIV patients who suffered the side effects of TDF.
“HIV has disproportionately devastated the Black community and Gilead has branded itself as the savior,” said Ben Crump. “In fact, the company made decisions that have injured and killed many in the HIV community instead of keeping them safe while they battle this horrific virus. They chose to put thousands at more risk than medically needed to further line their pockets.”
According to the lawsuit, Gilead knew about the risks of TDF to kidneys and bones even before it received FDA approval in 2001. Despite mounting evidence of TDF toxicity, Gilead developed and marketed four additional TDF-containing drugs by 2012, downplaying safety risks and ignoring FDA warnings. The HIV community was forced to choose between potentially life-threatening consequences of not taking the drug or suffering side effects of taking it.
Gilead had already identified TAF as a safer alternative but withheld it based on an alleged inability to differentiate it from TDF. Gilead’s current marketing openly touts TAF as a safer alternative, after withholding it for a decade and making seven patent applications for TAF products it had supposedly abandoned. The evidence suggests Gilead withheld TAF for one primary reason – profits.
“I look forward to standing beside Ben to expose Gilead as a profit-driven company that pretended to be heroic while callously taking advantage of people battling for their lives,” said Bob Hilliard. “There is a special place in hell for a company that exploits a global HIV epidemic to rake in billions of dollars a year at the expense of people who are dying.”
The lawsuit seeks to recover damages for the plaintiffs’ personal injuries and seek punitive damages arising from Gilead’s willful and wanton conduct.
The case is: Cause No. 3:18-cv-06972 Adrian Holley, et al. v. Gilead Sciences, Inc.
ABOUT BEN CRUMP LAW
Through his work, nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump has spearheaded a legal movement to better protect the rights of marginalized citizens. He has led landscape-changing civil rights cases and represented clients in a wide range of areas including civil rights, personal injury, labor and employment, class actions, and more. Ben Crump Law is dedicated to holding the powerful accountable. For more information, visit www.bencrump.com.
ABOUT HILLIARD MARTINEZ GONZALES
Bob Hilliard has led HMG to the forefront of national trial law firms. Having tried over 100 jury trials, Mr. Hilliard is also a two-time winner of the National Law Journal’s prestigious Elite Trial Lawyer of the Year award, as well as being recognized as a Super lawyer for the past 18 years. Mr. Hilliard is double board certified and recognized as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in the United States. In the past six months, HMG’s 40 lawyer firm has already secured over 100 million dollars in verdicts and settlements. For more information, visit https://hmglawfirm.com/.