Gilead to Charge $4,550 Per Patient for Typical Covid-19 Treatment

Hospitals will pay no more than Gilead's Wholesale Acquisition Price, which amounts to approximately $3,200 per treatment course, the HHS statement said.

Daniel O'Day, chief executive officer of Gilead Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company in the USA, made this known in an open letter on Monday.

The Department of Health and Human Services already obtained more than 500,000 treatment courses to ensure "any American patient who needs remdesivir gets it" through September, HHS Secretary Alex Azar said.

On April 29, Gilead Sciences announced positive data in the clinical trial of remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19.

According to the company, the pricing plan announced is "well below" the drug's value and showed responsibility on the part of the company.

According to O'Day, the company has entered into an agreement with the U.S. department of health and human services (HHS) whereby HHS and states will continue to manage allocation to hospitals until the end of September.

Analysts at Royal Bank of Canada forecast the drug could generate $2.3 billion in revenue 2020, helping offset more than$1 billion in development and distribution costs. "At the current price of $390 per vial, remdesivir is positioned to achieve the aim of providing immediate net savings for healthcare systems". "This is before we factor in the direct benefit to those patients who may have a shorter stay in the hospital".

"The same focus went into the price and although this medicine adds significant value to the healthcare system by reducing the hospital days, we chose to price this at a very extraordinary time in a unique way", he stated.

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Chairman and CEO Daniel O'Day wrote in a letter on Monday that the price for governments of developed countries would be 390 dollars per vial.

Gilead Sciences' experimental antiviral remdesivir was authorised for use by the health agency last month after research indicated the drug could cut the recovery time for hospitalised covid-19 patients by several days when compared with a placebo group in a controlled trial. These prices, O'Day argued, were "well below" the company-estimated value of the drug, which includes savings to hospitals of roughly $US12,000 ($17,510) per patient.

Patient advocates have argued that the cost should be lower since remdesivir was developed with financial support from the USA government. In the USA, the same government price of $390 per vial will apply.

For U.S. patients with commercial insurance, Gilead said it will charge $3,120 per course, or $520 per vial. At the level we have priced remdesivir and with government programs in place, along with additional Gilead assistance as needed, we believe all patients will have access.

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

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

In 127 poor or middle-income countries, Gilead is allowing generic makers to supply the drug; two countries are doing that for around US$600 ($876) per treatment course.

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