TrialCard wins first federal contract – for fight against HIV

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A Morrisville pharmaceutical solutions company has landed its first federal contract, a huge milestone as it will help lead the national fight against HIV.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services tapped TrialCard to expand accessibility to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) HIV prevention medications.

The contract is part of the government’s “Ready, Set, PrEP” program, part of a wider initiative to eradicate HIV in the country by 2030. The initiative was christened by President Donald Trump in his 2019 State of the Union speech.

More than 700,000 Americans have died from HIV since 1981, according to HHS. The department estimates that more than 1 million people who are at risk for HIV in the United States could benefit from PrEP medications, but fewer than one in four of those receive it.

The program will provide medications at no cost to eligible individuals without prescription drug coverage.

The drugs and services for the program were secured from a variety of private corporations, including Gilead Sciences, which manufactures the drugs. Pharmacies including CVS Health, Health Mart, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Walmart and others will mail the donated medication free to patients.

TrialCard will be “responsible for the overall administration and operational effectiveness” of the program.

“We are excited … to play a crucial role in eradicating HIV in the United States,” President and CEO Mark Bouck said. “For 20 years, TrialCard has provided pharmaceutical manufacturers and their patients the industry’s best affordability and access programs. With today’s announcement, we are pleased to be working with HHS and look forward to additional opportunities in the future with the federal government.”

TrialCard was founded in 2000 and provides patient affordability, medication access and adherence, patient support and clinical trial services for a variety of pharmaceutical manufacturers. Since its founding, the company estimates it has connected nearly 33 million patients with more than $15 billion in drug savings.

This is its first federal contract. As of January, the company had about 1,600 people, with 1,300 in the Triangle.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for TrialCard and is the result of a lot of hard work by our team,” Bouck said. “This is our first government contract and it’s for a great cause. … This opportunity reflects the mission and vision of TrialCard, to help patients obtain the life-changing medications they need to lead better lives.”

The contract is worth $4 million for one year with TrialCard, but comes with four one-year option periods that HHS can continue it. According to company officials, the opportunity “increases in value over the life of the contract.”

Aside from bringing in revenue for the company, the prominent federal decision could be a mark of validation for TrialCard and help it expand its private business.

It could also open the door to more federal dollars down the road.

“That is something that we are going to explore,” Bouck said. “Winning this contract allows us to pursue similar opportunities in the future.”

Original Article Source: Triangle Business Journal