WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Gilead Sciences Inc. will charge $2,340 for a five-day treatment of its COVID-19 drug candidate remdesivir in the United States and other developed countries.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will oversee the allocation of more than 500,000 treatment courses to American hospitals until the end of September.
- The drug’s price has been intensely debated since May, with experts arguing that Gilead should not seem to take advantage of a health crisis for profit.
Gilead Sciences Inc. announced on Monday that it will charge $2,340 for a five-day treatment of its COVID-19 drug candidate remdesivir in the United States and other developed countries.
The price for a single vial, meanwhile, is $390.
The drugmaker will price each vial of remdesivir at $520 for U.S. private insurance companies. This makes a treatment course of 6 vials equal to $3,120 per patient.
Apparently, the hefty price is still below the recommended $5,080 per course, suggested last week by U.S. drug pricing research group, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be managing the allocation of more than 500,000 treatment courses of the drug to American hospitals until the end of September.
This includes Gilead’s 100% projected production of 94,200 treatment courses for July and 90% of production in August and September, in addition to an allocation for clinical trials, HHS said.
Once supplies are less limited after this period, HHS can stop managing the allocation, the company stated.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved the emergency use of remdesivir in some COVID-19 patients back in May. Since then, the drug’s price has been intensely debated. Experts argued that Gilead should not seem to take advantage of a health crisis for profit.
Wall Street analysts pointed out that if the pandemic continues over the next couple of years, the antiviral drug is projected to generate billions of dollars in revenue.
The prices seem significantly lower in developing countries, however.
Gilead has collaborated with generic drugmakers based in India and Pakistan to manufacture and supply remdesivir to 127 developing countries.
Cipla Ltd. will price their version at less than 5,000 Indian rupees ($66.24) while Hetero Labs Ltd. priced their version at 5,400 rupees.