The drug that shortens recovery time in COVID-19 patients will cost 2,340 dollars per treatment for people with health insurance in the United States and other developed countries, the manufacturer reported this Monday.
Gilead Sciences announced that Remdesivir will cost 3,120 dollars for patients with private insurance. What patients pay will depend on their insurance, income, and other factors.
We announced the price today for our investigational antiviral for the treatment of COVID-19. We believe our unique approach will provide broad and equitable access. Read more from our Chairman & CEO: https://t.co/rrEbrDxrLk. pic.twitter.com/9ElSExqSU3
— Gilead Sciences (@GileadSciences) June 29, 2020
“We are in uncharted territory with the price of a new medicine in a pandemic,” Gilead chief executive Dan O’Day told The Associated Press.
“We had to really deviate from normal circumstances” and put a price on the drug to ensure wide access rather than just based on value for patients, he said.
However, the price was quickly criticized. A group of consumers considered it “outrageous” due to the amount that taxpayers invested in the development of the drug.
The treatments the company donated to the United States and other countries will run out in about a week, and prices will be applied after that, O’Day said.
In 127 poor or middle-income countries, Gilead allows generic manufacturers to supply the drug; two countries already do it at a cost of about 600 dollars per treatment.
The price of Remdesivir had already been anticipated since it became the first drug to show results for the coronavirus, which has killed more than half a million people worldwide in six months.
The drug interferes with the coronavirus’s ability to copy its genetic material. In a study led by the U.S. government, Remdesivir shortened recovery time by 31%: 11 days on average compared to 15 days for those who receive usual treatment. What has not improved is survival, according to preliminary results after two weeks of follow-up. Results are expected for four weeks.
Gilead says he will have spent 1 billion dollars developing and manufacturing the drug by the end of this year.
The drug is authorized for emergency use in the United States, and Gilead has requested full approval.