Gilead slaps multi-thousand-dollar price tag on coronavirus treatment remdesivir

A person enters a building at Gilead Sciences Inc. headquarters in Foster City California U.S. on March 19

A person enters a building at Gilead Sciences Inc. headquarters in Foster City California U.S. on March 19

The company will charge the USA government and developed countries $US390 per vial of remdesivir, or $US2,340 for a five-day course using six vials of the drug - what the vast majority of patients are expected to receive.

The pharma giant said this price, which amounts to US$390 per vial, will be offered to all governments in developed countries around the world where remdesivir is approved or authorised for use.

In his open letter, CEO Dan O'Day stated that earlier hospital discharge would save ~$12K per patient.

In this March 2020 photo provided by Gilead Sciences, a vial of the investigational drug remdesivir is visually inspected at a Gilead manufacturing site in the United States. "We started with our immediate responsibility to ensure price is in no way a hindrance to ensuring rapid and broad treatment".

The US biopharma said most patients would use the drug for around five days, meaning the price of a single course would equate to $2,340 per patient.

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Once supplies are less constrained, HHS will stop managing the allocation, Gilead said.

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

"As with many other aspects of this pandemic, we are in uncharted territory in pricing remdesivir".

The drug interferes with the coronavirus's ability to copy its genetic material.

It's observed that Remdesivir cuts the duration of symptoms from 15 days down to 11 in clinical trials. It had not improved survival according to preliminary results after two weeks of followup; results after four weeks are expected soon.

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Gilead is pricing remdesivir at far below that price, he said.

A file photograph shows Gilead Sciences headquarters in Foster City, California.

Gilead had promised to donate the drug through June, but what the company would charge after that supply runs out has been furiously debated. Public Citizen issued a statement calling Gilead's price "offensive".

"Remdesivir should be in the public domain" because the drug received at least US$70 million ($102 million) in public funding toward its development, he said.

Per the New York Post, the coronavirus drug remdesivir will average $3,120 for the typical patient with private health insurance. Porges has advocated for a price that allows Gilead to make a reasonable profit as an incentive for private companies to research medicines for this and future epidemics. 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. Gilead says it will have spent US$1 billion ($1.45 billion) on developing and making the drug by the end of this year. After the intravenously administered medicine helped shorten hospital recovery times in a clinical trial, it won emergency use authorization in the United States and full approval in Japan.

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