San Francisco Voters may have Say in Cost of AIDS Medication

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."

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