Gilead slaps multi-thousand-dollar price tag on coronavirus treatment remdesivir

Marco Green
June 29, 2020

Gilead Sciences Inc said it is pricing remdesivir at $390 per vial for people covered by government healthcare in the USA and other developed countries.

Experts have suggested that Gilead would need to avoid the appearance of taking advantage of a health crisis for profits.

Said CEO Daniel O'Day, "At the level we have priced remdesivir and with government programs in place, along with additional Gilead assistance as needed, we believe all patients will have access".

The per-vial price outside of private insurance will be $390, Gilead added.

The remdesivir price for USA private insurance companies will be $520 per vial, Gilead said, which equates to $3,120 per patient for a treatment course of six vials.

After an global COVID-19 drug trial showed that the medication helped some patients recover more quickly, the Food and Drug Administration gave the remdesivir authorization for emergency use in treating coronavirus cases.

After this period, once supplies are less constrained, HHS will stop managing the allocation, Gilead said. They explained Monday that the federal government has secured a lot more than 500,000 extra classes that Gilead will make commencing in July to source to hospitals by means of September. It argued remdesivir could save $12,000 per patient by getting people out of the hospital faster.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, O'Day said the US was the only developed country to get two prices.

Shares of the Foster City, Calif. -based drugmaker gained 1.6% to $75.75 in premarket trading Monday in NY. Through Friday, Gilead shares had gained 15% so far this year.

In the US, federal health officials have allocated the limited supply to states, but that will end in September.

Gilead has applied for full approval for the drug in the U.S. States such as Texas, Arizona and Florida are becoming overwhelmed, and plans to reopen their economies are being reversed. For cases that take longer to treat, the total cost could be $4.290.

A recent ICER report found that the drug likely costs about $9.32 - rounded up to $10 - to manufacture one 10-day course of treatment.

In the interview, O'Day said $1 per day was "not a realistic price point".

Six vials of remdesivir are used during a five-day treatment.

A Wall Street Journal analysis shows the typical hospital patient with commercial insurance would be charged $3,120 for an average course of treatment, but what the consumer ends up paying would depend on their health benefits coverage.

To date, Gilead has donated about a quarter of a million treatment courses of remdesivir, and it is bolstering supply rapidly.

It is ramping up production and expects its investment in the development and manufacture of remdesivir to exceed $1B by year-end.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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