Hi Gaj & Splitdog,
reading your posts, I see things are a little bit mixed... Perhaps we should look on the mission a company has on the market.
I struggle my head to find the proper English word for a person who wins a battle, collect the laurels, but is not winning the war (neither willing to fight that war).... So, Gilead through a smart acquisition some years ago bought the company who invented Sofosbuvir and now holds the patent which is a cash machine.
Having drug combinations (SOF+LED, SOF+VEL) that are effective against HCV means that G. has won a battle [HCV can be defeated]. BUT they did not won the war against HCV..... To really win this war against the hepatitis C virus, you need to have "soldiers" (patients, doctors, etc) equipped with efficient weapons (e.g. Sofosbuvir based treatments) deployed on ALL battlefields where the enemy is (all over the world where HCV patients exists).
But, if you look at Gilead's company description, you will see that winning the war against HCV is not their focus:
"Advancing Therapeutics, Improving Lives
Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative medicines in areas of unmet medical need. We strive to transform and simplify care for people with life-threatening illnesses around the world. Gilead's portfolio of products and pipeline of investigational drugs includes treatments for HIV/AIDS, liver diseases, cancer, inflammatory and respiratory diseases, and cardiovascular conditions.
Our portfolio of marketed products includes a number of category firsts, including complete treatment regimens for HIV infection available in a once-daily single pill and the first oral antiretroviral pill available to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV infection in certain high-risk adults.
Strength Through Partnership
Collaborations of all kinds – with partners in science, academia, business and local communities – are central to our work. Partnerships enhance our ability to develop innovative medicines and deliver them to people as efficiently as possible.
Growing Worldwide Reach
Gilead was founded in 1987 in Foster City, California. Since then, we have grown to become one of the world’s largest biopharmaceutical companies, with 8,000 employees across six continents."
So, in my English, this sounds like : I want to make "weapons" against life-threatening illnesses and let others fight the war (see "Strengh through partnerships"), especially that the drugs can be replicated. And because of the patent laws, one can add ".... when I made already enough money out of it".
And this is a purely business (or better say profit based) approach, which does not necessarily require neither imply passion or vision to see the sick patients all over the world being cured. Just inventing an effective medicine, being proud of this, making money, then moving to a next medicine which should produce further money, and so on...
By compare, the mission of Natco company is "Making specialty medicines accessible to all". Or Cipla's goal "to ensure that no patient shall be denied access to high quality & affordable medicine and support." and the list could continue.
By this compare one can better see the difference between Gilead and generic drugs manufacturers. We might even call it paradox. Also to be mentioned here is the questionable aspect related to the usage of public knowledge.And this is why we saw recently the Sofosbuvir patent challenge being made by Doctors of the World , I-Mak, etc. as the current settlements for protecting and stimulating R&D leads to such situations of paradox that in the end .... leaves people die.
P.S. I do agree that my view is excluding perhaps other relevant data about Gilead and that it may be biased, however not seeing the mass treatment of HCV patients being worldwide deployed ... well I believe my opinion stands.