Since 2004, Gilead has twice slashed its price for Truvada, a drug that combines the company's best-selling pill, Viread, and another medicine. Gilead now sells Truvada to poor African nations for 87 cents a day, compared with $24.51 in the U.S.
Still, only 45,000 to 50,000 of the 6.5 million people in poor countries who need AIDS drugs to stay alive are receiving any of Gilead's medicines. To get the drug to more patients, Gilead is handing over its manufacturing secrets to generic companies who may be able sell the drugs for even less.
``We think they can beat our prices and we would love to see that happen,'' said Gregg Alton, Foster City, California-based Gilead's general counsel, who is working on the negotiations with 10 Indian drugmakers. ``We're going to teach them everything they need to know to make the product.''