Showing posts with label Donation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Donation. Show all posts

May 11, 2019

Gilead Will Donate Truvada to U.S. for H.I.V. Prevention (PREP)

The manufacturer will provide enough of the drug to supply 200,000 patients annually for more than a decade. Critics said it would not be enough to end the AIDS epidemic and questioned the company’s motives.

Donald G. McNeil Jr.
By Donald G. McNeil Jr.

Gilead Sciences, maker of Truvada, the only drug approved to prevent infection with H.I.V., will donate enough of the drug to supply 200,000 patients annually for up to 11 years, federal health officials announced on Thursday. The Price for one year of Truvada is $20,000.

Officials at the Department of Health and Human Services said the donation came about “as a result of discussions between the Trump administration and Gilead.”

The drug is taken once daily to prevent infection with H.I.V., a strategy called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. An estimated one million Americans are at risk for infection and should be taking the pills, but only about 270,000 are doing so.

H.I.V. activists and experts had mixed reactions to the news. While some felt the donation was a good start, they said it filled only one-fifth of the need in the United States.

The high cost of Truvada has been called a major barrier to stemming the spread of H.I.V. among low-income Americans, critics say, and part of the reason the AIDS epidemic has persisted for so long.

A deep price cut for Truvada — and the Gilead drug slated to replace it, Descovy — would do far more to protect Americans at risk, they said. Truvada now costs about $20,000 a year in the United States.

Gilead appears to be following a pattern set in 2001 by other drug companies. While millions of Africans died of AIDS because their drugs cost as much as $20,000 a year, drug makers refused to cut their overall prices.

But the companies did offer to donate limited amounts of H.I.V. medications — all while pressuring the United States and European governments to make sure that generic drugs made in India were kept out of the market.

The tactic ultimately failed, and Indian companies now supply almost all of Africa’s H.I.V. drugs. In Africa, generic Truvada is sold for about $60 a year. 

Gilead has sued several companies that tried to introduce generic versions in the United States. The company settled each suit but kept the details secret. Its rivals stayed out of the market, which led to harsh criticism of the company.

A less expensive generic version of Truvada is expected next year. Gilead will donate Truvada until Descovy is approved for H.I.V. prevention, then switch patients to the new drug.

Descovy contains a new version of tenofovir, the active ingredient in Truvada. Once approved, Descovy will be under patent protection for many years. Gilead has said it will also cost $20,000.

President Trump announced an ambitious plan to end the H.I.V. epidemic during his State of the Union address in February. Wider access to PrEP is a linchpin of that effort.

Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, who made the announcement with Gilead late Thursday, said the agreement would last through 2025, possibly through 2030.

“Securing this commitment is a major step in the Trump administration’s efforts to use the prevention and treatment tools we have to end the H.I.V. epidemic in America by 2030,” he said.

Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, who led a team at Massachusetts General Hospital who analyzed the costs of the Obama administration’s AIDS plan and has looked at the cost of the Trump plan, said the Gilead deal was “a noble effort — but it covers less than 20 percent of the people who need it.”
From the team at NYT Parenting: Get the latest news and guidance for parents. We'll celebrate the little parenting moments that mean a lot — and share stories that matter to families. 

“Let’s call a spade a spade,” she said. “The real cost of Truvada is about $60 a year. If you really wanted to cover everybody, you’d cut the price to everyone.”

“If I put on my cynical hat, I think this is the way they make sure they grow the market for Descovy,” she added. “It will promote the idea that Descovy is better — and I’m not sure that’s a dialogue we want to present.”

Although Truvada is considered a very safe drug, it can cause kidney problems and loss of bone density in some patients. Descovy appears to cause fewer of those effects, but it raises cholesterol levels more than Truvada does.

Peter Staley, one of the founders of PrEP4All, a group that has been pushing for wider access to Truvada, called the arrangement “promising but depressing.”

Given how little it costs to make Truvada, he said, the donation will cost Gilead less than $10 million a year.

The Justice Department is investigating whether Gilead failed to pay the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention royalties for the work it did developing Truvada as an H.I.V. preventive.

Gilead makes over $3 billion a year worldwide on Truvada, so back royalties to the federal government could cost up to $1 billion, Mr. Staley estimated. 

“Neither Azar’s announcement nor Gilead says whether this is part of some settlement of that Justice Department investigation,” Mr. Staley said.

“Also, this won’t cut into Gilead’s sales at all, and it’s a very cheap marketing program for Descovy,” he added.

Descovy should cost far less than Truvada to produce, said Mitchell Warren, the executive director of AVAC, an AIDS prevention organization. TAF, the active ingredient in Descovy, is more powerful than TDF, the one in Truvada, so less is needed.

“This shows you the inherent shell game in pharmaceutical pricing,” Mr. Warren said. “We urgently need a lower price, and it’s disappointing that even this has taken so long.”

June 19, 2016

Apple Withholds Donations to RNC Over Trump’s Politics, Others Followed

~No advertising Money and No usual corporate donations~



Apple has informed Republican leaders it will not be supporting the party's 2016 presidential convention in Cleveland next month, according to sources who spoke to Politico today. 

The decision is reportedly due to comments made by presumptive nominee Donald Trump which the company takes issue with, in particular his controversial positions on the subjects of minorities, women, and immigrants. 

Apple has traditionally donated technology and cash to both Republican and Democratic conventions, although no funding was provided to the 2012 Democratic event after the party decided against taking corporate donations. 

It's still unclear whether Apple plans to donate to the upcoming Democratic convention in Philadelphia this summer. 

Facebook, Google, and Microsoft have all said they will provide some support to this year's GOP event, despite general reservations within the tech industry about where the party is headed under Trump's candidacy. 

Back in March, Apple CEO Tim Cook attended the American Enterprise Institute's annual World Forum, where conversation among tech leaders and Republican representatives kept returning to the topic of the GOP candidate's emergence on the political scene. Sources familiar with the event said that the meeting centered more around how and why Trump had attracted support, rather than how to stop him. 

Trump has previously singled out Apple for its encryption stance and its refusal to help the FBI unlock the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone, and at one point suggested people should boycott the company's products unless it complied with the federal agency's demands. 

It was later revealed that Trump had tweeted the comment using an iPhone. 

No indication was given by the two sources Politico spoke to that Trump's criticism of Apple was behind its decision to withhold support for the Republican event. 

Apple will not be alone in its refusal to help with GOP convention efforts. Earlier this month, HP announced it would not provide funding, after coming under pressure from activists at 

"We want them to divest from hate; we want them to pull all their money and support," said Mary Alice, field director for Free Press Action Fund, which is part of the anti-Trump campaign. Tech companies backing the convention need to be "thinking hard about where they put their brand, and whether they want to align their brand with racism, hatred and misogyny," she told Politico. 


September 24, 2012

Danish SPerm Donor Passes Disease to Five Children

A Danish sperm donor has passed a potentially severe genetic disorder to five children after a screening test failed to catch that he had the disease, health officials say.
The donor transmitted the tumor-producing nerve disorder Neurofibromatosis type I, sometimes known as Von Recklinghausen's disease, to five babies he fathered, said the Copenhagen clinic where he gave sperm, Nordisk Cryobank.
"In the case of these five, we know that the disorder came from the donor," even though the disorder is not always transmitted by a person's parents, said the clinic's director general, Peter Bower.
"I can say that prior to October 2009, this donor has provided sperm to 10 countries inside and outside Europe," Bower told AFP, saying he could not release specifics about where and when the babies were born because of confidentiality rules.
Public broadcaster DR reported that the donor had fathered 43 children at 14 clinics.
Denmark's national health council said because of the cases it would begin limiting the use of sperm from a single donor to 12 pregnancies from October 1 and immediately stop using sperm from any donor suspected of having passed on a genetic disorder.
Neurofibromatosis type I has widely different effects on those who suffer from it. Symptoms can include beige patches on the skin, high blood pressure, bone deformity, scoliosis, learning difficulties and eye problems including tumours on the optic nerve.

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September 8, 2012

NY GOP Donor Gives $100K to Pro-Gay NH PAC, the Limit thought to be $5K

In an opinion that could have a major impact on the current and future political campaigns, the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office says individuals can now make unlimited financial contributions to New Hampshire political action committees that make independent expenditures on behalf of state candidates.

The first PAC to take advantage of the new interpretation of the state's political contributions law is the New Hampshire Republicans for Freedom and Equality PAC.

Two weeks ago, the pro-same sex marriage group received a $100,000 contribution from Paul Singer, a New York-based hedge fund manager who is a major supporter of Mitt Romney, Sen. Kelly Ayotte and GOP candidates nationwide, as well as gay marriage.

The NRFE PAC reported in a Sept. 5 state-required filing it spent more than $94,000 of the Singer contribution on direct mail on behalf of 40 Republican New Hampshire House members who are seeking reelection and one who is now running for the state Senate -- Rep. John Reagan, who is in a primary trying to succeed the retiring Sen. Jack Barnes of Raymond.

All those being helped opposed an effort in the Legislature this year to repeal the state's gay marriage law.

Long-standing state law had limited the amount of money an individual can contribute to any political committee to $5,000.

But an Aug. 1 letter from Assistant Attorney General Matthew Mavrogeorge to Secretary of State William Gardner cites the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the landmark Citizens United case and subsequent federal court rulings.

Mavrogeorge counsels that as a result of those rulings, Gardner's office should no longer enforce the $5,000 limit “against political committees that only make independent expenditures.”

Circuit courts that have addressed the issue since the Citizens United case “have, to date, found all such (state) laws to be unconstitutional,” Mavrogeorge wrote.

In an interview, Deputy Attorney General Ann Rice said, “After the Citizens United decision, courts have interpreted that decision as saying that political contributions, if they are to an independent expenditure PAC, one that is not affiliated with a particular campaign, that you (a state law) can't limit the contributions.”

The Attorney General's opinion does not apply to those who contribute to candidate committees.

The chairman of New Hampshire Republicans for Freedom and Equality is Sean Owen, the president and CEO of Wedu, a Manchester- and New York-based strategic marketing firm.

He was active in the successful effort in the Legislature this year to defeat an attempt to repeal the state's same-sex marriage law.

“We had said at the end of the legislative session when the repeal effort failed that we would support a good number of the Republicans that had helped us in the fight,” Owen said Friday.

“The intent now is to make sure that people understand there are Republicans out there who have a different point of view, and we are going to support them and protect them,” said Owen.

Owen said he has never met Singer.

“He has been a big supporter of efforts around the country that are pro-gay marriage and other Republican interest groups as well,” Owen said.

“And he's closely tied to a number of other organizations that support us,” he said.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal story, Singer gave the national GOP $1 million to help underwrite its recent convention in Tampa. The story also notes that he supports gay marriage, a position that is “at odds with the ticket” of Romney and Paul Ryan, who, the story says, Singer once tried to convince to run for President himself.

And according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics', employees at Singer's New York-based hedge fund management firm, Elliott Management Corp., “gave over $95,000” to U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte's 2010 campaign, “and Singer himself gave $3,142.”

Collectively, Elliott Management was “her top donor” in her Senate race, the Center said.
The Center also reported in July:

“Singer has given $1 million to pro-Romney super PAC Restore our Future in the 2012 cycle, but has also been active in promoting gay rights; he supported New York's recent legalization of gay marriage and seeded the new American Unity PAC -- a group dedicated to supporting Republican candidates who favor gay marriage -- with another $1 million.”

Ayotte opposes gay marriage.

A source familiar with the NHRFE PAC said all of the mailings on behalf of the House candidates it supports are positive.

The mailers do not specifically cite the lawmaker's vote against repealing the same-sex marriage law, but refer to the issue in phrases that say the candidate is supportive of “preserving individual, parental and family rights; holding true to the values of limited government.”

Another phrase used in a mailer is: “Guarding the high quality of life and individual freedoms.”

Still another is: “Protect individual freedoms and personal responsibility.”

These phrases are mixed with others that apply to other issues, such as, “Won't bow down to the tax-and-spend crowd,” and, “Balancing the budget and living within our means.”

One of three mailers sent out on behalf of Senate candidate Reagan call him “a passionate voice for individual freedom and personal responsibility.”

The conservative anti-same sex marriage advocacy group Cornerstone Action issued a statement late today contending that the Singer contribution was “illegal” and that it had filed an election law complaint with the Secretary of State's office.

“Any donation above $5,000 is illegal in New Hampshire under RSA 664:4,” the Cornerstone press release said.

Shannon McGinley, Cornerstone's active executive director, told the Attorney General's opinion does not change the law.

“Just because the Attorney General doesn't enforce the law doesn't mean the contribution isn't, in fact, illegal,” she said. “What they did broke the law. Period.

“Until the General Court amends or repeals the law, it will still be illegal to accept contributions over $5,000,” McGinley said.

(Attorney General says it's legal)

McGinley pointed to a portion of the Mavrogeorge letter that says, “Whether the statute can be enforced to restrict contributions to any political committee is a fact-specific determination that can only be made on a case-by-case basis.”

“I think they are saying, 'Think about the spirit of the law,' and when this is 19 times more than the limit, that is a clear violation of the spirit of the law,” she said.

McGinley said she did not know, yet, whether Cornerstone will challenge the Attorney General's interpretation.

A source close to NHRFE said, “They have defamed us and we will pursue our legal options to protect the organization's reputation against these outrageous and unfounded accusations.”

The incumbent Republican House candidates being supported by the NHRFE PAC are Peter Bolster, Karen Umberger, Adam Hopkins, Susan Emerson, Richard Dwinell, Frank Sterling, Bob Fredette, Russell Day, Cal Pratt, Todd Weeks, Keith Murphy, Kelleigh Domaingue Murphy, Win Hutchinson, Mike Ball, Steve Vaillancourt, Don LeBrun, Michael Reed, Bob Haefner, Shawn Jasper, Charlene Takesian and Jon Maltz.

Also, Russ Ober, Matt Swank, Ken Kreis, Priscilla Lockwood, David Hess, Kathy Hoelzel, Gene Charron, Karen Keegan-Hutchinson, Sherm Packard, John Sytek, Ronald Belanger, David Welch, Tim Copeland, Pat Abrami, Robert Boyle, Marie Sapienza, Robert Kropel, Mike Castaldo and Julie Brown.


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July 24, 2012

Rich Donors Giving $$ For Gay Rights

A new force is emerging in American politics: wealthy, gay political donors who target state-level races. Last year, they funneled millions of dollars into dozens of carefully selected campaigns. Their goal: to elect gay-friendly governors and state lawmakers.

Freshman Washington state Rep. Deb Eddy, a Democrat from Seattle's Eastside, remembers the phone call she received last summer from a political consultant on the East Coast. "Her purpose was simply to let me know that I would be receiving checks from out-of-state and that these were all on the up-and-up," Eddy says.
As Eddy remembers it, the caller told her the money was coming from a group of gay and gay-friendly donors who wanted to help influence state legislative races. Soon the checks started arriving — seven in all.
"It was a dead giveaway because all of them were for $675, which was the limit from the preceding election," Eddy says. "So they had information about Washington's limitation on contributions to campaigns that was a year old."
Eddy says some of the checks came with a note attached: "[It] said that I had been brought to their attention by Tim Gill, which was the first time I'd heard the name. And then he, too, sent a check."
Tim Gill is an openly gay software mogul-turned-philanthropist from Denver. He would not consent to an interview for this story. But his staff confirms that last year, Gill launched an under-the-radar political giving campaign.
He and his network of deep-pocketed friends targeted some 70 state-level races in more than a dozen states — including Washington state.
Campaign-finance reports indicate that much of the money went to swing-district Democrats.
"I think what folks like Tim Gill are trying to do is to basically level the playing field," says Patrick Guerriero, former head of the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay political group. Today Guerriero is Gill's political director. He says Gill swung into action after the 2004 election, when several states voted to ban gay marriage.
"I think a lot of folks who believe in basic equality were caught blindsided when the issue of marriage equality was used as a wedge issue in elections around the 2004 cycle," Guerriero says. "And what happened was a lot of really decent, fair-minded legislators were thrown out of office based on those issues."
The goal now is to win back seats and win gay rights, state by state. And Gill isn't alone. His efforts inspired another gay philanthropist — Jon Stryker, a Michigan billionaire — to target down-ballot races in 15 states last year.
'Investing Where We Can Continue to Win'
This focus on state politics makes sense strategically. Consider what has happened in Washington state with Democrats in control of both the House and Senate. In the last two years, lawmakers have passed a gay nondiscrimination law and domestic partnership legislation.
The chief sponsor of both those measures was State Sen. Ed Murray, an openly gay Seattle Democrat.
"The victories we've had have happened at the state and local level," Murray says. "So I think that there's an interest in investing where we can continue to win. Secondly, I think that it's become clear to people that the issue of marriage is going to be dealt with state by state."
One person sounding the alarm about Tim Gill and his political strategy is Peter LaBarbera. He's president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, a group that opposes gay rights.
"I'm a little bit offended and a little bit jealous, to tell you the truth," LaBarbera says. "I mean, it was a brilliant campaign, it's a brilliant strategy. I don't know how ethical it is, given that the local people didn't know what was happening."
LaBarbera predicts that conservative groups will respond in the next election.
"I would say that in some of the swing districts where this tactic was used, those people will be vulnerable," LaBarbera says. "Especially when it comes out that they unseated the incumbent with this sort of stealth, gay strategy."
That could mean even more money flowing from wealthy out-of-state donors to local campaigns on both sides of the gay rights debate.
Austin Jenkins with the Northwest News Network reports from Olympia, Wash.

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November 2, 2011

NFL (Retired) Commissioner Donates $1Mil Georgetown U. LGTB Center


Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students will be in good hands at Georgetown University after former National Football League Commissioner Paul J. Tagliabue and his wife donated $1 million to create a new program to assist LGBT students.
The money will start a new LGBT program called theTagliabue Initiative for LGBT Life: Fostering Formation and Transformation. The program will be hosted at Georgotown’s LGBTQ Resource Center, the first of its kind for a Catholic university.
“The Center is inspired by Catholic and Jesuit principles of respect for the dignity of all and education of the whole person, and we are very pleased to support its services that provide a safe, inclusive and respectful environment for LGBTQ students and promote their acceptance in the entire campus community,” the Tagliabues said in the statement.
The gift is part of the Tagliabue’s overall $5 million donation to Georgetown University.
“To have someone of Paul Tagliabue’s stature and reputation make this commitment is a huge validation and endorsement of the necessity, value, and importance of the work we do,” Sivagami Shiva Subbaraman, director of Geogetown’s LGBTQ Resource Center, told the Blade. “Paul and Chan’s generosity – their courage and vision – sets an incredible example of the importance of our allies,” she said. “Given his stature in the world of athletics, this is even more powerful.”
The new program will help support student and academic life on campus for LGBT students, and will likely be developed and executed within the next  few months.

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