Gilead sets price for remdesivir

June 29, 2020

Gilead Sciences announced that it will price its COVID-19-fighting drug, remdesivir, at $2,340 for a five-day treatment — well below the cost of what the drugmaker says would be market price for the drug.

The drugmaker will charge the U.S. government and other developed countries $390 per vial. Based on current treatment patterns, the vast majority of patients are expected to receive a 5-day treatment course using 6 vials of remdesivir, which equates to $2,340 per patient.

Once supply is less tight and Gilead starts selling the drug in normal distribution channels, the list price for private insurance companies and other commercial payers in the U.S. will be $520 a vial, or $3,120 for a five-day course.

While Gilead has received emergency use authorization from the FDA, the broad-spectrum antiviral medication administered via injection has not yet been formally approved as a coronavirus treatment. But it is the first antiviral to have demonstrated patient improvement in clinical trials for COVID-19.

The first results from the NIAID study in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 showed that remdesivir shortened time to recovery by an average of four days. In the US, this earlier hospital discharge would result in hospital savings of approximately $12,000 per patient.

According to the drugmaker, "there is no playbook for how to price a new medicine in a pandemic" but  "we believe that pricing remdesivir well below value is the right and responsible thing to do."

Read Gilead's open letter