"Combination cocktails" for HIV treatment are with medications made by different drugmakers. Photo: Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A lawsuit filed yesterday by AIDS activists and unions alleges that Gilead conspired with other drug companies to block generic competition in the HIV market, Stat News reports.

Backdrop: "Combination cocktails" are often used to treat HIV, and they consist of fixed doses of medications made by different drugmakers.

  • The lawsuit alleges that Gilead made deals with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Janssen to use only each others' products in these cocktails, even after the patents expired.

Why it matters: The lawsuit alleges that this scheme kept prices for HIV drugs "sky-high," even when generic versions of the cocktail components were available.

  • "This gross profiteering explains why less than half of people living with HIV in the U.S. are virally suppressed, one of the lowest rates among the world's high-income countries,” Brenda Goodrow, one of the plaintiffs, said in a statement.

Go deeper: People with untreated HIV transmitted 80% of new infections

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

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Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

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Why it matters: He's been an influential force in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.