Cost of possible COVID-19 treatment cut more than 50%

Rising Pharmaceuticals, a New Jersey-based drugmaker, is slashing the price of its chloroquine tablets by more than half, STAT reported. The drug was touted by President Trump as a possible treatment for COVID-19.

Rising had hiked the price of the tablets by 98 percent between December 2019 and January, from $3.87 per tablet to $7.66 per tablet. But in response to growing demand for the drug amid the coronavirus pandemic, Rising said it would cut the price in half. It later decided to lower it an additional 20 percent. 

The initial price hike came before the new coronavirus outbreak turned into a pandemic and before public health officials believed chloroquine could effectively treat COVID-19, Rising told STAT

Chloroquine has been made as an antimalarial treatment since the late 1940s and is often used to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Ira Baerigner, Rising's COO, emphasized to STAT that the drugmaker isn't marketing its chloroquine pills as a COVID-19 treatment, since the FDA hasn't approved it for that use. 

Read the full article here

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