Thursday, 02 July, 2020

COVID-19 drug remdesivir may cost over $3,000 per treatment

Gilead sets US price for COVID-19 treatment Gilead Prices Covid-19 Drug Candidate Remdesivir at $2,340 Per Patient in US
Gustavo Carr | 29 June, 2020, 19:38

Because of how the USA health care system is designed and the discounts that government health care programs like the VA and Medicaid will expect, the price for private insurance companies will be $520 per vial, Gilead Sciences explained in a letter.

The drug is expected to reduce hospital costs by $12,000 per patient, he said.

Gilead agreed to donate its supply of remdesivir through the end of June, but it announced it will begin charging for the antiviral drug in July.

In April, U.S. government-led trials of remdesivir showed it shortened recovery time for COVID-19 patients, but it had marginal impact on death rates, the Washington Post reported.

HHS has secured more than 500,000 treatment courses of the drug for US hospitals through September, the agency said on Monday.

In the U.S., federal health officials have allocated the limited supply to states, but that agreement with Gilead will end after September.

Gilead Sciences has announced it will charge developed countries $390 a vial for remdesivir, its antiviral drug now being investigated for use in Covid-19 patients.

The developing world will see treatment "at a substantially lower cost", with O'Day citing "healthcare resources, infrastructure and economics" as the reasons.

Remdesivir's selling price has been hugely predicted because it grew to become the 1st medication to display reward in the pandemic, which has killed a lot more than 50 % a million men and women globally in 6 months.

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The drug interferes with the virus's ability to copy its genetic material.

It had not improved survival according to preliminary results after two weeks of followup.

The price tag is below the $5,080 per course recommendation by USA drug pricing research group, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), last week.

But recent news that a cheap steroid called dexamethasone - a common $50 steroid - improves survival means remdesivir should be priced between $2,520 and $2,800, the group said.

In the interview, O'Day said $1 per day was "not a realistic price point". "It was developed using significant taxpayer funding". "This price will be offered to all governments in developed countries around the world where remdesivir is approved or authorized for use".

"Remdesivir should be in the public domain" simply because the drug gained at the very least $70 million in general public funding towards its growth, he explained.

O'Day said pricing of the drug was a balancing act. "The price might have been fine if the company had demonstrated that the treatment saved lives".

Wall Street analysts have said the antiviral drug could generate billions of dollars in revenue over the next couple of years if the pandemic continues.