Protest Outrageous Prices by Big Pharma!
Support Free Health Care for HEP-C Prisoners!
Jail Drug Profiteers, Free Mumia!
Monday January 11th at 12 Noon
JP Morgan Healthcare Conference
Westin St Francis Hotel
335 Powell St, Union Square, San Francisco
The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal is supporting the O.A.S.I.S. Clinic of Oakland, CA, which treats patients with Hepatitis-C (HCV), in calling for a demonstration to protest the outrageous price-gouging of Big Pharma corporations, which hike-up the cost for essential, life-saving medications such as the cure for the deadly Hepatitis-C virus, in order to reap huge profits. Many American working people, including prisoners, are the victims.
PUBLIC HEALTH, NOT CORPORATE WEALTH!
This JP Morgan investor conference is an invitation-only event which entices corporate CEOs, CFOs, investors and other opportunist big-wigs to slurp up the profits that can be made from gouging the victims of life-threatening diseases such as Hepatitis-C. This includes Gilead Sciences, the “owner” of Harvoni, which is the effective new cure for HCV.
Gilead’s Price-Gouging Hypocrisy Exposed!
One pill a day for 12 weeks does the trick with a 95 percent cure rate for Hepatitis-C, but Gilead charges $1,000 per pill, or nearly $90,000 for a full course of treatment!!
Note, first of all, that the curative pill, Harvoni, was not developed by profit-gouging Gilead executives (surprise, surprise), but by scientists whose company was bought by Gilead!
Gilead’s Price in the US Is 100 Times its Cost!
In violation of National Institute of Health (NIH) regulations, Gilead canceled its program to supply a certain amount of the drug at low cost. And the New York Times reported that in “a complicated deal to sell hepatitis drugs at a small fraction of their usual cost while imposing tight restrictions intended to protect lucrative markets in the West… for the past year, Gilead has sold the drug to the Egyptian government for about $10 a pill”! (New York Times, 16 December 2015)
Gilead agreed to this drastic discount because the Egyptian government agreed to restrictions that prevent circulation of the drug on the black market. Indian generic copies have been circumvented with similar finagling. These deals do not mean that Gilead is losing money! But in the US, the price remains at $1,000 per pill, which is 100 times its actual cost of production!
Gilead claims they need to charge outrageous prices in order to be able to afford to develop new drugs. But state support for health care for all could easily provide for the investment necessary, while keeping essential drugs affordable or free on the basis of need.
The Pennsylvania prison system is trying to kill Mumia,
and other HCV Prisoners, by medical mistreatment!
As many as 700,000 prisoners are among the nearly 5.2 million Americans infected with HCV, according to the Center for Disease Control, and political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal is among them.
Prisoners are among the most likely to contract Hep-C, and among the least likely to receive the newly available cure for the disease, due to both the exaggerated price, and the refusal of prison administrations to provide proper health care to inmates!
Mumia Abu-Jamal was infected in 1981, after he was shot by police and treated as a prisoner for his wounds. Falsely convicted for killing a cop and sent to death row (he’s now serving life without the possibility of parole), Mumia’s infection began to show symptoms in 2015, which is typical for this slow-incubating but usually fatal (if untreated) disease. Mass mobilization by supporters is the only reason Mumia got any medical attention at all, and he is still denied the curative Harvoni treatment which alone can ensure his survival!
Mumia Abu-Jamal, though he suffered near death for lack of treatment last year, is the first one to point out that he is only one of many. He supports the demands for treatment of some 10,000 prisoners in Pennsylvania alone who suffer from HCV infection.
In a recent federal appeal, lawyers fighting for treatment of Mumia brought out evidence in court of a secret PA Department of Corrections (DOC) protocol which explicitly provides for observation, but not treatment, of HCV infected prisoners!
MUMIA IS INNOCENT!
Falsely accused of killing a cop in 1981, Mumia should never have spent a day in jail. Witnesses against him have been discredited, other evidence was rigged, and he was already targeted for having exposed police crimes as an independent journalist. Today, Mumia’s very survival depends on freeing him from the hell hole of prison.
The courts won’t do it! We must build a movement to Free Mumia!
– Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
10 January 2016