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 American drug company producing an antiviral Food and Drug Administration-approved drug that is being used to treat severe cases of coronavirus, says patients who are covered by government programs like Medicaid will be charged $2,340 for a typical five-day treatment course.
Countries in the developing world will get the drug at greatly reduced prices through generic manufacturers to which Gilead has licensed production.
“Part of the intent behind our decision was to remove the need for country by country negotiations on price,” Gilead chairman and CEO Daniel O’Day said in an open letter. “We discounted the price to a level that is affordable for developed countries with the lowest purchasing power. This price will be offered to all governments in developed countries around the world where remdesivir is approved or authorized for use.”
Gilead agreed to donate its supply of remdesivir through the end of June, but it announced it will begin charging for the antiviral drug in July.
Remdesivir’s price has been highly anticipated since it is the first medicine shown to effectively treat COVID-19, which has killed more than half a million people in the world in six months.
Given the potential to save lives, Gilead said its price is “well below” the drug’s value.
“As the world continues to reel from the human, social and economic impact of this pandemic, we believe that pricing remdesivir well below value is the right and responsible thing to do,” O’Day wrote.
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.
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