Gilead sets pricing for coronavirus drug remdesivir, could cost over $3G
01 Juillet, 2020, 04:12 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
After weeks of debate of how Topline Gilead Sciences would develop pricing that balances social responsibility with its profits, the company has announced the pricing plan for Remdesivir, its coronavirus treatment drug.
In this March 2020 photo provided by Gilead Sciences, rubber stoppers are placed onto filled vials of the investigational drug remdesivir at a Gilead manufacturing site in the United States.
"We have chose to price remdesivir well below this value", O'Day wrote.
"Longer term, however, we believe the fundamental value creation opportunity for remdesivir in the out years remains limited, given the likelihood of ultimate development of a vaccine (or herd immunity), the likelihood other therapies will produce similar or greater benefits perhaps with more convenient administration, and Gilead's large existing ~$20 billion a year revenue base".
In developing countries "where healthcare resources, infrastructure and economics are so different", the drug will be offered at a discounted price for generic versions, the company said. The first results from the NIAID [National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases] study in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 showed that remdesivir shortened time to recovery by an average of four days.
The company is also working to increase supplies to meet the high global demand for the drug, with the virus having infected more than 10 million people and killed over 500,000 around the world.
The drug interferes with the coronavirus's ability to copy its genetic material. But recent news that a cheap steroid called dexamethasone improves survival means remdesivir should be priced between US$2520 ($3677) and US$2800 ($4086), the group said. But it had not been clear what the price tag of the drug would be after the donations ended. He said the drug will be given to states to distribute to hospitals in need. "It was developed using significant taxpayer funding".
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"In normal circumstances, we would price a medicine according to the value it provides".
"To the extent possible, we want to ensure that any American patient who needs remdesivir can get it".
"Remdesivir should be in the public domain", Peter Maybarduk, a lawyer for consumer group Public Citizen, told the Associated Press.
"The price puts to rest any notion that drug companies will "do the right thing" because it is a pandemic", Dr Peter Bach, a health policy expert at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NY said in an email. "The price might have been fine if the company had demonstrated that the treatment saved lives".
O'Day noted that by the end of 2020, Gilead expects to have spent more than $1 billion on research and development on the drug, with its commitment expected to last "through 2021 and beyond".
The agency granted remdesivir an Emergency Use Authorization in May, but the order is temporary and "does not take the place of the formal new drug application submission, review and approval process", the company said.
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