Gilead prices coronavirus drug at USD2,340

AP – The maker of a drug shown to shorten recovery time for severely ill COVID-19 patients said it will charge USD2,340 for a typical treatment course for people covered by government health programmes in the United States (US) and other developed countries.

Gilead Sciences announced the price yesterday for remdesivir, and said the price would be USD3,120 for patients with private insurance. The amount that patients pay out of pocket depends on insurance, income and other factors.

“We’re in uncharted territory with pricing a new medicine, a novel medicine, in a pandemic,” Gilead’s Chief Executive Dan O’Day told The Associated Press.

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

The 250,000 treatment courses that the company had donated to the US and other countries will run out in about a week, and the prices will apply to the drug after that.

In the US, federal health officials have allocated the limited supply to states, but that will end in September.

In 127 poor or middle-income countries, Gilead is allowing generic makers to supply the drug; two countries are doing that for around USD600 per treatment course.