Bottles of antiretroviral drug Truvada. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Justice Department is reviewing the government patent for use of an HIV prevention drug, potentially signaling that it's considering action against the drugmaker that sells it, the Washington Post reports.

The bottom line: The drug, Truvada, is owned by Gilead, which sells it for between $1,600 and 2,000 a month.

Details: A retired Centers for Disease Control scientist told the Post that a Justice Department lawyer visited the CDC last month to talk to government scientists who discovered Truvada's preventative use.

  • Gilead says the government's patent is invalid.

Why it matters: Truvada is key to the administration's goal of eradicating HIV by 2030, as it helps prevent new infections. But its price tag is creating patient access issues.

"We are in discussions with the government to determine the best ways to broaden access to Truvada for PrEP to vulnerable populations in the United States and support the federal plan to end the HIV epidemic."
— Gilead's statement to the Post

The big picture: It's rare for the government to sue for drug patent infringement, although the Department of Health and Human Services has patented more than 2,500 products since 1976, WashPost reported last month.

  • These discoveries were publicly financed, but the government often licenses them to private drug companies, which commercialize them.

Go deeper: Big Pharma's GOP firewall is weakening

Go deeper

Students say they'll sacrifice fun if they can return to campus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

College students overwhelmingly plan to return to campus this fall if their schools are open — and they claim they'll sit out the fun even if it's available, according to a new College Reaction/Axios poll.

Why it matters: For many, even an experience devoid of the trappings of college life is still a lot better than the alternative.

22 mins ago - Health

Florida's coronavirus outbreak is getting worse

Reproduced from The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

Florida is the new domestic epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, and it's on track to keep getting worse.

By the numbers: Of the 20 U.S. metro areas with the highest daily case growth, nine are in Florida, according to Nephron Research.

Jeff Sessions loses Alabama Senate primary runoff

Jeff Sessions. Photo: Michael DeMocker/Getty Images

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions has lost the Republican nomination for Senate to Tommy Tuberville in Alabama in Tuesday night’s primary runoff, AP reports.

Why it matters: Sessions had been the underdog in the race against former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, who had the backing of President Trump. Tuberville will now face off against Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) in November, who is considered to have one of the most vulnerable Democratic Senate seats in the country.