Gilead Sciences Announces Pricing for COVID-19 Treatment Remdesivir

Henrietta Strickland
July 1, 2020

According to the plan announced, countries in the developing world will pay much less for the drugs, than their counterparts in the developed world.

One vial of the drug Remdesivir lies during a press conference about the start of a study with the Ebola drug Remdesivir in particularly severely ill patients at the University Hospital Eppendorf in Hamburg, northern Germany on April 8, 2020, amidst the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. The department also announced Monday that it's secured more than 500,000 treatment courses of remdesivir through September, which it said will be distributed to hospitals based on the need of their state and territorial health departments. As NewNowNext previously reported, the company patented Truvada, the brand-name version of Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a preventative drug that drastically increases the risk of new HIV infections when used properly.

However, for private insurance companies in the US, the cost is $520, or $3,120 for the five vials.

Factoring in the discounts that government health care programs expect, pricing for USA private insurance companies will be $520 per vial or $3,120 for a five-day treatment course.

Private insurance companies will have to pay more - $520 - per vial of remdesivir, however, "because of the way the US system is set up and the discounts that government healthcare programs expect", the company said.

The first drug shown to help coronavirus patients recover in clinical trials now has a price tag.

The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, a nonprofit group that analyses drug prices, said remdesivir would be cost-effective in a range of US$4580 to US$5080 ($6683 to $7413) if it saved lives.

However, the high price of the drug has been blasted by experts, who note Gilead developed the drug using public funding.
There are now 2.5 million confirmed cases nationwide. A senior HHS official said the agency expects the drug will soon be a scarce resource, and so it wanted to remain involved in allocating it.

The agency said it secured more than 500,000 remdesivir courses for USA hospitals through September.

"Gilead has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) whereby HHS and states will continue to manage allocation to hospitals until the end of September".

GILD Price Action: Gilead shares were up 1.42% at $75.63 at the time of publication Monday.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Brian Abrahams saw the pricing through a different lens and argued it could imply revenue of about $2.3 billion this year, more than offsetting Gilead's spending. The price sets a benchmark for all other treatments and vaccines in development for Covid-19, which shows profit is possible though it may not be as large as some had hoped.

Gilead has tied up with generic drugmakers based in India and Pakistan, including Cipla Ltd and Hetero Labs Ltd, to make and supply remdesivir in 127 developing countries.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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