Gilead sets price for coronavirus drug remdesivir at $3400, sparking criticism

Gilead will charge $2,340 for its COVID-19 treatment, 90% of which will stay in the United States until the fall

Although there is still room for debate on whether remdesivir's price is appropriate, Gilead said the "degree of speculation" over its costs are understandable. "In normal circumstances, we'd have priced this medicine in accordance with value".

Results from a trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) among about 1,000 patients found remdesivir can cut the length of hospital stays by an average of four days.

"We believe that we had to really deviate from the normal circumstances" and price the drug to ensure wide access rather than based exclusively on value to patients, he said.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, O'Day said the US was the only developed country to get two prices. Because most patients are expected to receive a 5-day treatment course using 6 vials, this equates to approximately $2340 per patient.

In 2019, the company defended what many called "price-gouging" for its HIV drug Truvada to a House committee, claiming the high cost pays for the research behind its development, the Washington Post reported a year ago. As NewNowNext previously reported, the company patented Truvada, the brand-name version of Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a preventative drug that drastically increases the risk of new HIV infections when used properly.

US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar said in a Monday statement that US President Donald Trump has "struck an unbelievable deal to ensure Americans have access to the first authorized therapeutic for COVID-19".

According to the plan announced, countries in the developing world will pay much less for the drugs, than their counterparts in the developed world.

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"In the US, while new cases are rising, they are not resulting in hospitalization at rates seen in the first half".

During an interview Monday, the company's CEO Daniel O'Day defended the company's pricing.

Gilead Sciences disclosed its pricing for the COVID-19 treatment remdesivir on Monday, saying it will charge $3,120 for patients with private health insurance. The drug is administered intravenously to treat severe cases of the respiratory illness.

Because of those data, clinicians are viewing dexamethasone as the standard of care of COVID-19, with remdesivir merely an "adjunct" to it, ICER suggested.

"Remdesivir should be in the public domain", Peter Maybarduk, a lawyer for consumer group Public Citizen, told the Associated Press. The price "will make sure all patients around the world have access to this medicine".

The New York-listed company claimed the shortened recovery would save hospitals about $12,000 per patient. "The price might have been fine if the company had demonstrated that the treatment saved lives". The HHS won a lawsuit against Gilead in February, arguing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) holds the patent for Truvada and a related pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) drug, Descovy, since they were developed from publicly funded HIV research.

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