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TOPIC: CBS Evening News on Gilead

CBS Evening News on Gilead 5 years 8 months ago #10118

  • mgalbrai
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www.cbsnews.com/news/congress-outraged-o...ment-va-cant-afford/

Congress outraged over hepatitis C treatment VA can't afford

WASHINGTON -- Congress is looking into why veterans are being denied a cure for a deadly form of hepatitis.

In a CBS News investigation, we told you the cure was developed by a doctor working for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Why vets aren't being treated with life-saving hepatitis C drug
The doctor got rich, but at $1,000 a pill, the VA can't afford it.

Much of the anger at Wednesday's hearing was directed at someone who wasn't even in the room.

"If I were you, I would be outraged," Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colorado, said.

"Certainly the taxpayers should be outraged," Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-Louisiana, added.

Their target is Dr. Raymond Schinazi, who played a leading role developing a drug that cures hepatitis C. When he sold his company to pharmaceutical giant Gilead in 2012, he made over $400 million.

And he did it all while working seven-eighths of his time for the VA

"So, I'm not full time -- what I do with my remaining time is up to me," Schinazi told CBS News in December.

We asked him if anyone has ever questioned the arrangement that allowed him to become very wealthy while working most of his time for the government.

"Nobody has questioned anything yet," he said.

That changed Wednesday as House members including Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas, grilled David Shulkin, the VA's undersecretary for Health.

"But he just sold a company for $400 million. Did anybody know about that?" Huelskamp asked.

High cost of Hep C drug a barrier to treatment
"I'm not aware of who knew what three or four years ago," Shulkin responded.

Coffman wanted to know why Schinazi got rich, but the VA got nothing for a drug that one of its own doctors helped develop.

"Is it bureaucratic incompetence or is it corruption, or is it a combination of the two?" Coffman asked. "This wasted resource is why this nation is unable to take care of the men and women who have served this country in uniform."

Others were upset that Schinazi wasn't there to be questioned. The VA says Schinazi retired just two days ago.

"The person that's responsible always seems to retire before the investigation starts," Coffman said.

The VA did approve Schinazi's part-time arrangement and told CBS News part-time employees are allowed to invest in private companies, so long as all conflict of interest rules are followed.

The VA said there will be both internal and outside investigations.

My thanks to C
Mike
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G 1a F-1
Started tx 10/23/15 (Meso sof & led) ALT 48 AST 28 v/l 1.6 mil
11/17/15 4 wk lab ALT 17 AST 16 <15
11/18/15 Started Harvoni
12/16/15 8 wk lab ALT: 15 AST: 13 V/l UND
1/14/16 Fin. Tx
7/07/16 UND SVR 24
Last Edit: 5 years 8 months ago by mgalbrai.
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CBS Evening News on Gilead 5 years 8 months ago #10140

  • Vororo
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Thanks Mike,

But why are CBS going after Schinazi so hard?

Because he once worked for the VA?

Or is it because he made $400M when Pharmasset was sold to Gilead for $7Bn? If Schinazi got $400M out of the deal, it makes him only a 5% share-holder in Pharmasset. Scarcely a position of power, and certainly not in a position where he have any say in the matter. After all, it is Gilead who are doing all the price-gouging ... to the tune of $21Bn per year on Sovaldi alone...

At first sight, it seems to me like CBS are missing the real culprit... What are they afraid of?

On the other hand, maybe the fact the Schinazi worked for the VA is ultimately the best way to attack patent and pricing issues. If Schinazi worked for the VA, then the VA should get a fair percentage of the rights to any intellectual property (IP) he generates.

In the UK and most of europe, it is quite normal for a university researcher to be obliged to hand over to his employer ALL the intellectual property that he might produce - usually in return for a gratuity of 30% (say) of any eventual commercial success that might arise.

In the UK at least, if Schinazi was also working for an outside company (i.e. Pharmasset), he should have declared this to his employer (i.e. the VA), and cut a deal. And if he didn't, he was most probably in breach of his contract with the VA. Either way, on this basis, the VA should have a rightful claim on a good percentage on Schinazi's IP. In short, the VA should own most of the rights to Sofosbuvir, and could potentially file a massive claim against Gilead...

Go VA!!
Diagnosed Jan 2015: GT3, A0+F0/F1. Fatigue + Brain-Fog.
Started Sof+Dac from fixHepC 10-Nov-2015. NO sides.
Pre-Tx: AST 82, ALT 133, Viral Load 1 900 000.
Week4: AST 47, ALT 58. VL < 15 (unquantifiable).
Week12 (EOT): AST 30, ALT 26, VL UND
Week16 (EOT+4): AST 32, ALT 28, GGT 24, VL UND
Week28 (EOT+16): AST 26, ALT 22, GGT 24, VL UND
Ever grateful to Dr James.

Relapsed somewhere after all that... Bummer!

Jan 2018: VL 63 000 (still GT3).
Last Edit: 5 years 8 months ago by Vororo.
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CBS Evening News on Gilead 5 years 8 months ago #10141

  • Vororo
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Ah, I just saw the much thorough post from Dr James, who is always at least two steps ahead of the rest of us!

fixhepc.com/forum/geopolitics/672-here-i...ofosbuvir.html#10122

(Oor Wullie humbly goes back to playing with his catapult while waiting for his Week-12 blood results...)
Diagnosed Jan 2015: GT3, A0+F0/F1. Fatigue + Brain-Fog.
Started Sof+Dac from fixHepC 10-Nov-2015. NO sides.
Pre-Tx: AST 82, ALT 133, Viral Load 1 900 000.
Week4: AST 47, ALT 58. VL < 15 (unquantifiable).
Week12 (EOT): AST 30, ALT 26, VL UND
Week16 (EOT+4): AST 32, ALT 28, GGT 24, VL UND
Week28 (EOT+16): AST 26, ALT 22, GGT 24, VL UND
Ever grateful to Dr James.

Relapsed somewhere after all that... Bummer!

Jan 2018: VL 63 000 (still GT3).
Last Edit: 5 years 8 months ago by Vororo.
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