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. – Gilead Sciences, the company that makes remdesivir to treat covid-19, announced in an open letter Monday morning that it decided to set a price of $ 390 per vial (a small glass bottle) for the US government. Which would include Medicaid, and for the governments of developed countries.
A typical five-day treatment would include six vials, which would equal $ 2,340 per patient, said Daniel O’Day, president and CEO of Gilead Sciences, in the letter. The US government will continue to administer remdesivir allocations in the US to hospitals until September, the company said.
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The letter adds that the price for US private insurance companies will be $ 520 per vial, which adds up to $ 3,120 per patient for a five-day, six-vial treatment.
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“As with all of our actions on remdesivir, we approach this with the goal of helping as many patients as possible, as quickly as possible, and in the most responsible manner. This has been our benchmark, from collaborating to finding quick answers on safety and efficacy, to increasing manufacturing and donating our remdesivir supply until the end of June. In each case, we recognized the need to do things differently to reflect the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic. Now, as we transition beyond the donation period and set a price for remdesivir, the same principle applies, ”O’Day said in the letter.
Remdesivir, currently administered intravenously through infusions, is the only medication that has an emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat coronavirus infections. Until now, remdesivir treatments have been donated to the United States government and assigned by the US Department of Health and Human Services and the states. However, the last scheduled shipments from the U.S. government of that donation will come out this Monday.
“At the level that we have valued remdesivir and with government programs in place, along with additional assistance from Gilead as needed, we believe that all patients will have access,” O’Day said. “Gilead has signed an agreement with the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) whereby HHS and the states will continue to administer the allocation to hospitals until the end of September. After this period, once supplies are less restricted, HHS will no longer manage the allocation. ”
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HHS Secretary Alex Azar announced that agreement during an appearance on “Good Morning America” on Monday.
“President Trump has secured half a million remdesivir treatments through September,” Azar told George Stephanopoulos of ABC.
“This is the medication that if you are hospitalized can reduce the length of your stay by a third and we are working with our states to make sure it reaches the hospitals most in need,” said Azar. “We are experiencing very serious outbreaks in many of the southern counties of the United States.”