June 04, 2021

Warren Seeks Gilead CEO's Testimony on Competition and High Drug Costs at June 16th Finance Subcommittee Hearing

Invitation Letter Text (PDF)

Washington, DC - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today invited Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day to testify at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance's Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth entitled "Promoting Domestic Competition and International Competitiveness." The hearing is scheduled for 2:30pm on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. 

"Gilead Sciences, Inc. can offer an important perspective on drug pricing and competitiveness within the pharmaceutical industry," Senator Warren wrote in her letter to Mr. O'Day.

The subcommittee hearing will examine:

  1. the importance of competition policy and the role of the federal government in promoting competition in the pharmaceutical industry, and 
  2. the impact of anti-competitive behaviors on consumer access, innovation within the industry, and the high prices that patients and taxpayers must pay for prescription drugs.

The Senator's letter notes Gilead has produced "revolutionary" drugs, including Harvoni and Sovaldi for hepatitis C, Truvada for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and the antiviral remdesivir (Veklury), which was identified as a useful treatment for severe COVID-19 at a time when few other effective therapeutics existed. But, she writes, "the prohibitively high prices of Gilead's drugs have made it hard for patients to access the lifesaving treatments they need, forced taxpayers to bear the brunt of high costs, and inhibited competition."

"In your testimony," the invitation concludes, "please provide the Committee with your assessment of the impact of Gilead's high drug prices on individuals in need of life-saving but expensive medications; the current state of innovation and competition in the pharmaceutical industry; and the steps Congress could take to increase competition and ensure drugs are priced at fair levels consistent with their value, taxpayer input in de-risking their development, and the limited healthcare budgets of public and private payers."

Senator Warren asked that Mr. O'Day notify her office regarding his attendance by Monday, June 7th.