Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) falsely claimed that her work in Congress fast-tracked the arrival of life-saving HIV drugs to the market, taking credit for a corporate decision made four years before she was elected to Congress.
Responding to President Trump’s criticism of House Democrats, the progressive congresswoman fabricated a personal achievement by claiming that she “took on Big Pharma” with “colleagues in hearings that brought PrEP generic a year early” in a tweet last week.
In fact, Gilead, the pharmaceutical company behind PrEP—a medication that can reduce the transmission risk of HIV by 99 percent—had reached an agreement back in 2014 to allow a generic version of the drug to come to market a year early. The company disclosed that agreement weeks before its CEO, Daniel O’Day, appeared before Congress in May.
Gilead’s patent for an active ingredient in Truvada—the company’s HIV prevention drug—will expire in 2021, but currently prohibits most competitors from making generic versions of the medicine. However, a 2014 legal settlement between Gilead and Teva Pharmaceutical authorized the latter to sell generic Truvada starting in 2020, a year before the patent is set to expire.