Gilead Sciences Inc has priced its COVID-19 drug candidate remdesivir at US$2,340 for a five-day treatment in the United States and some other developed countries, it said on Monday, as it set the price for a single vial at US$390.
After an worldwide COVID-19 drug trial showed that the medication helped some patients recover more quickly, the Food and Drug Administration gave the remdesivir authorization for emergency use in treating coronavirus cases.
Gilead signed an agreement with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), under which the department and states will manage the distribution to hospitals until the end of September.
The drug appears to help stop the replication of viruses like coronavirus and Ebola alike.
Gilead had promised to donate its supply of the drug through June, but what the company would charge after the donation ran out had been furiously debated.
Gilead has linked 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. Two countries are doing that for around $600 per treatment course.
The drug interferes with the coronavirus's skill to duplicate its genetic product. "The first results from the NIAID study in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 showed that remdesivir shortened time to recovery by an average of four days", O'Day wrote in the letter, explaining the pricing decisions. It experienced not enhanced survival in accordance to preliminary final results right after two months of followup final results right after 4 months are anticipated quickly.
The price tag is below the $5,080 per course recommendation by USA drug pricing research group, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), last week. "This price will be offered to all governments in developed countries around the world where remdesivir is approved or authorized for use".
But recent news that a cheap steroid called dexamethasone - a common $50 steroid - improves survival means remdesivir should be priced between $2,520 and $2,800, the group said.
"This is a high price for a drug that has not been shown to reduce mortality", Dr. Steven Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic said in an email.
'Given the serious nature of the pandemic, I would prefer that the government take over production and distribute the drug for free.
Peter Maybarduk, a attorney at the buyer team Community Citizen, known as the selling price "an outrage".
"Remdesivir should be in the public domain" because the drug received at least $70 million in public funding toward its development, he said.
The company announced its pricing plans in preparation for it to begin charging for the drug in July.
'The price might have been fine if the company had demonstrated that the treatment saved lives.