COVID-19 treatment Remdesivir will cost thousands of dollars in the United States as confirmed by its maker, Gilead Sciences Incorporated. According to Bloomberg’s latest report, the U.S. government and other developed countries will be charged $390 per vial of remdesivir, which is a total cost of $2,340 for a typical 5-day course of treatment.
NBC News also reported that remdesivir will cost $3,120 for those patients who have private insurance, as announced by Gilead Sciences on Monday, June 29. The report confirmed that the cost of remdesivir drugs will depend on income, insurance, and other factors of the patient.
“We’re in uncharted territory with pricing a new medicine, a novel medicine, in a pandemic,” said the chief executive of Gilead, Dan O’Day.
“We believe that we had to really deviate from the normal circumstances and price the drug to ensure wide access rather than based solely on value to patients,” he added.
A consumer group swiftly criticized the provided price for the coronavirus treatment, saying that it is an outrage because of the amount the taxpayers invested towards the drug’s development. Dan O’Day said that the prices will be implemented to the drugs after the treatment courses that the company has donated to the United States, and other countries run out, which is expected to happen about a week.
According to NBC News’ latest report, the federal officials have allocated the limited supply in the U.S., but the states’ agreement with Gilead will end after September. The report stated that the U.S. government confirmed on Monday, June 23, that it will supply 500,000 additional courses to hospitals through September, which will be produced by Gilead beginning in July.
“We should have sufficient supply … but we have to make sure it’s in the right place at the right time,” said O’Day.
It was also reported that Gilead is allowing generic makers to supply the drug in 127 poor or middle-income countries, with two of them already doing it for around $600 per treatment course. The report stated that the cost of remdesivir had been highly anticipated since it became the first medicine to show benefit during the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, which killed more than half a million people around the world in just six months.
Remdesivir was said it would be cost-effective in a range of $4,580 to $5,080 if it saved lives, as stated by the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review. This nonprofit group analyzes prices for other drugs or medicines.
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