San Francisco Voters may have Say in Cost of AIDS Medication - NBC Bay Area

San Francisco Voters may have Say in Cost of AIDS Medication



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    WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 23: Sir Elton John speaks at the 19th International AIDS Conference at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on July 23, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images)

    San Francisco voters could have a say in the price of HIV/AIDS medication next year.

    The Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation announced Wednesday it will pursue an initiative for the November 2013 ballot that would encourage government officials to negotiate with drugmakers on the price of prescription drugs.

    The initiative comes just after the FDA approved the drug Striblid, which is manufactured by Foster City-based Gilead Sciences.

    Striblid has upset activists because it comes with a price tag of $21,000 per year.

    The president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation tells the San Francisco Examiner there's no significant difference between Striblid and the company's previous drug, Tripla. He says Gilead is using the new drug for profit.

    San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener tells the Examiner he's interested in the idea, but wants the focus to be on finding a way to bring affordable medication to people suffering from HIV and AIDS, rather than "gouging one company."