AIDS advocates and patients protest Abbott Laboratories' Norvir price hikes

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A broad coalition of AIDS advocates and patients will come together in protest over Abbott Laboratories' recent unprecedented 400% price hike on Norvir (ritonavir), their key AIDS drug.

The activists and AIDS advocates will hold a 34-hour vigil and protest in front of Abbott's South Pasadena site (820 S. Mission Street). AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the Southern California HIV Advocacy Coalition (SCHAC), Bienestar, Whittier Rio Hondo AIDS Project (WRHAP) and many individual AIDS activists and patients will join in this vigil. In addition, the Organization of HIV Healthcare Providers, nationwide group of doctors & providers, has lent their support.

Abbott's price hike has prompted an unprecedented outcry from AIDS advocates nationwide, and led to other protests and boycotts of the company by activists and physician groups. This in turn prompted the opening of antitrust investigations by the Attorneys General in Illinois and New York, as well as government hearings on Abbott's actions by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National Institutes of Health in Washington, and gave rise to the filing of private antitrust and false advertising lawsuits against Abbott by AHF.

In addition, overburdened and under-funded state Medicaid programs such as Medi-Cal, may be adversely affected by this huge price increase. To date, Abbott has been unwilling or unable to publicly explain how, if at all, this price hike will not affect such Medicaid programs in cash strapped states like California.

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