Coronavirus treatment with remdesivir to cost $2,340 per patient

Henrietta Strickland
June 30, 2020

Daniel O'Day, chairman and chief executive, said in an open letter setting out the pricing: "There is no playbook for how to price a new medication in a pandemic".

The drug maker said it will sell remdesivir for $390 per vial to governments "of developed countries" around the world, and the price for US private insurance companies will stand at $520 per vial.

The price for USA private insurance companies will be US$520 per vial, the drugmaker said, which equates to US$3,120 per patient for a treatment course using 6 vials of remdesivir.

The price tag is slightly below the range of $2,520 to $2,800 suggested last week by US drug pricing research group the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) after British researchers said they found that the cheap, widely available steroid dexamethasone significantly reduced mortality among severely ill COVID-19 patients.

The federal price in the United States comes below two price ranges deemed by the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) to be cost-effective in a report published last week, looking at remdesivir on its own and also when new data from the RECOVERY trial of dexamethasone is taken into account.

"The logic is that we wanted a single government price around the developed world".

Remdesivir will be priced "substantially lower" in the developing world thanks to agreements already in place with generic drugmakers to supply the drug, writes O'Day, without giving any precise details of those costs. It was granted emergency use authorisation by USA regulators in May.

However, the company did not indicate its charge for governments in less advanced countries like Nigeria for the drug which has won acclaim from health officials but is yet to gain final approval for commercial sale.

Since then however the low-priced steroid dexamethasone has been shown to reduce mortality in seriously-ill COVID-19 patients by around a third. That is a 33% increase over the $390 per vial Gilead said it will charge governments of developed countries and USA patients in government healthcare programs.

Gilead is expected to manufacture 1.5 million doses by the end of May, to make up for over 210,000 treatment courses, if most patients will be treated for five days, and more than one million treatment courses by the end of this year.

Shares in Gilead rose 3% in pre-market trading.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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