To Whom It (Should) Concern
I found this article near the back first section of the Sacramento Bee today, March 2nd, 2014. It was titled, “Breakthrough Hepatitis C Pill’s Cost Rattles Industry”.
$84,000 ….that is what Sovaldi costs for a twelve week course of the medicine that actually cures the disease. Let’s break that down…..divide 84 by 12, and you have $7,000 dollars a week. Divide 7 into 7 and you have one. $1000 dollars A DAY for Sovaldi.
Sure, it cures the disease, but how can the cost be justified? It’s almost blackmail. No, wait….it IS blackmail…..the company that makes Sovaldi, Gilead Sciences, is holding a cure hostage to people who are going to DIE from this disease, if they cannot get help to pay for the medicine. Aren’t you curious as to how much profit, Gilead Sciences made last year? In the second quarter ALONE, Gilead Sciences had a 2.77 BILLION DOLLAR PROFIT. This is on their website! (Now multiply that number by four…sure, their profits won’t be identical each quarter, but, when the number is in the tens of billions, a few millions do not matter much.)
What I am saying is, Gilead Sciences chooses how much money to sell Sovaldi for. In the interest of capitalism, we are letting companies destroy the lives of millions of Americans; and not just in the form high cost medicine. What about companies who do not follow safety protocols? What about companies who dump toxic waste into the water supply? Sure, we force these companies to pay up fines…and then, as in British Petroleum’s case, has decided they do not want to pay what they said they would pay to the families affected by their foolish actions. What about Chevron and their refinery fire here in California? Chevron had been forced to pay small fines for their misdeeds and nothing changed, until there was a massive fire at a California refinery. Then, they only got a slap on the wrist….
Each of these companies that I have mentioned, Gilead Sciences, BP and Chevron all have lobbyists. I bet some of you reading this letter know those lobbyists and it would not surprise me in the least if you just disregard this letter, because you like the perks they are giving you. If that is the case, I hope you do not sleep soundly at night. If you have any conscious at all, any sympathy at all, any empathy at all: please help me do something about this. I am only one citizen. That is why I am writing this. I want this letter seen. I want the American people to know what Gilead Sciences is doing. I am only one person, but what if one hundred people wrote a letter in response to mine? Then, what if one thousand people wrote a letter in response to theirs? And then, ten thousand? Now, that one letter HAS done something.
This needs urgent attention. The CDC estimates that 3.2 million people in the United States are currently living with Hepatitis C… If you calculate how much money it would cost to cure all 3.2 million Americans that would be: $268,800,000,000…two hundred sixty eight billion, eight hundred million dollars. (I had go find a scientific calculator, as my regular one doesn’t have enough space to calculate a number that large).
This is why Americans spend so much more money on drugs than other “industrialized” parts of the world…everyone wants more profit, instead of helping people. Sure, Gilead Sciences is willing to help people, but people have to pay for it.
I am only one person. Please help me spread the word. Please help save people’s lives before it is too late.