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Gilead Chooses Middle Ground in Pricing of Its Coronavirus Drug

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News24xx.com - Gilead Sciences Inc. said that it will charge U.S. hospitals roughly $3,120 for most patients who need remdesivir, picking a middle ground in a high-profile decision on the cost of one of the first drugs for Covid-19.

Patients suffering from the illness caused by the novel coronavirus are usually given six vials of remdesivir over five days. The price, which comes to $520 a vial, would apply to commercially insured patients in the U.S., according to a letter from Gilead Chief Executive Officer Daniel O’Day posted on the company’s website Monday.

It plans charge $390 a vial, or $2,340 for a five-day regimen, for direct government purchases by the U.S. or other developed countries.

Gilead’s pricing decision is consequential because it sets a precedent for how much future Covid-19 treatments might cost. While it’s higher than some patient groups had pushed for, it was close to a level that some drug-pricing watchdogs have said would be acceptable based on remdesivir’s expected benefit.

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The medicine could yield substantial profits for Gilead if large quantities are needed for many months, as seems likely.

Gilead said in a statement that it would offer the lower price to developed countries in order to create a one-price model that would avoid the need for negotiations that could slow down access.

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Daniel O’DayPhotographer: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Bloomberg
“We wanted to make sure that nothing gets in the way of remdesivir getting to patients,” O’Day said in an interview. The price “will make sure all patients around the world have access to this medicine.”

Brazil, which is in the midst of the one of the world’s worst outbreaks, may be one of the countries set to get the lower price.

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