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Dec 18 2014


Barcelona Spain

On Thursday 18th December 2014, dozens of leading international health activists staged a colorful protest in front of Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, Spain - highlighting the high prices of Gilead's new hepatitis C treatment, Sovaldi. The medicine costs approximately 40,000 euros in Spain, and $84,000 in the United States, leading to the exclusion from treatment of the majority of patients.

Dressed as Gilead researchers, executives, and clowns, the protesters invited patients, health professionals, and the general public to partake in Gilead's "Roulette of Life". With carnival games, balloons, music and song, participants were shown the absurd and macabre game of the pharmaceutical industry's arbitrary and abusive prices.

The public and participants showed strong support and understanding of the issue, and insisted on writing dozens of complaints to Gilead and the Spanish authorities about these high prices. These complaints will be given to the company, the Spanish government, and the public in order to demonstrate the everyday impact on real people's lives of inaccessible prices.

"It's unjust that pharmaceutical companies play games with people lives," Antonio Ruiz, who joined the action.

This action took place simultaneous to an indefinite sit-in staged by hepatitis C patients at Madrid's 12 de Octubre hospital. In Spain, over half a million people have hepatitis C. High prices mean that only 1% of patients will get Sovaldi.

The Barcelona activists demand the immediate generic production of Sovaldi. This will allow patients around the world to access the drug.

Posted by Center for Artistic Activism on