SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Stockholders have the right to sue Gilead Sciences for allegedly damaging the company’s worth with its overaggressive marketing of the HIV drug Viread, the 9th Circuit ruled.
The district court had dismissed the shareholders’ claim against Gilead Sciences, which suffered a 12 percent stock drop in one day in the midst of controversy surrounding the marketing of Viread.
The drug was meant for 40 percent of HIV patients, but Gilead marketed it to all of them. The district court ruled that the stockholders did not make a solid connection between the marketing and the stock drop.
Judge Hawkins disagreed, stating that the dismissal came too soon and stockholders have established enough facts to attempt to prove a causal relationship between the increase in sales from the off-label marketing and the reaction of the market to a warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration.