Gilead sets remdesivir price, allocation plan

Gilead Sciences will charge the U.S. government and other developed countries $2,340 for a five-day course of remdesivir. Commercial insurers in the U.S. will pay 33 percent more, or $3,120 for a five-day course, the drugmaker said June 29. 

Most patients treated with remdesivir receive a five-day treatment course using six vials of remdesivir. The cost breaks down to $390 per vial for government insurers like Medicaid and $520 per vial for private insurers. 

Gilead said while deciding on a pricing strategy for remdesivir, it wanted to create a one-price model to curb the need for country-by-country negotiations on price. 

While there are still no COVID-19 treatments approved by the FDA, remdesivir has been shown to shorten recovery time of hospitalized patients by about four days. Due to its potential to save lives and cut hospital spending, Gilead said its pricing is well below value. 

In particular, Gilead said due to the earlier hospital discharge, hospitals could save about $12,000 per patient.

"As with many other aspects of this pandemic, we are in uncharted territory in pricing remdesivir," Daniel O'Day, chair and CEO of Gilead, wrote in a statement on the pricing decision. "Ultimately, we were guided by the need to do things differently. As the world continues to reel from the human, social and economic impact of this pandemic, we believe that pricing remdesivir well below value is the right and responsible thing to do."

Gilead also said July 29 that HHS will continue to manage the allocation of remdesivir to U.S. hospitals through September. After that period, HHS will no longer manage allocation.

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