Gilead Sciences

New lawsuit alleges more drug patent games in the HIV market

HIV treatment pill pack
"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.

Axios analysis: Drugmakers getting richer

Data: Company filings; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

A majority of the health care industry's profits in the first three months of 2019 went to the top 10 companies, and 9 of those 10 companies were pharmaceutical manufacturers, according to Axios' quarterly analysis of industry financial reports.

The bottom line: Quarter after quarter after quarter shows drugmakers continue to wield the highest profit margins in the industry even though the political and public uproar over drug prices has somewhat dampened their stocks.