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Gilead’s remdesivir will cost $3,120 for patients with private insurance

Gilead announced that remdesivir, a drug that has helped some COVID-19 patients recover more quickly, will cost $3,120 for patients with private insurance.
 Gilead Sciences announced the price Monday for remdesivir, and said the price would be $3,120 for patients with private insurance. (Source: CNN)
Gilead Sciences announced the price Monday for remdesivir, and said the price would be $3,120 for patients with private insurance. (Source: CNN) (WOWT)
Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 7:22 PM EDT
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(WVLT/CBS) - Gilead announced that remdesivir, a drug that has helped some COVID-19 patients recover more quickly, will cost $3,120 for patients with private insurance. The company said the drug will cost patients who are covered by government programs, such as Medicaid, $2,340 for a typical treatment course.

CBS News reported that the number of patients who will be paid out of pocket depends on insurance, income, and other factors. Gilead CEO Dan O’Day said, ”We’re in uncharted territory with pricing a new medicine, a novel medicine, in a pandemic.”

The drug is described by CBS as an antiviral medication, originally developed to treat Ebola and other viruses, that has shown to help some patients recover faster from COVID-19. The Food and Drug Administration gave authorization for the drug to be used in emergency COVID-19 cases.

According to the Wallstreet Journal, Gilead is charging two prices for the drug in just one developed country--the United States.

"We believe that we had to really deviate from the normal circumstances" and price the drug to ensure wide access rather than based solely on value to patients, O'Day said.

CBS reported that the Department of Health and Human Services said Monday it allocated 500,000 treatment courses through September, which will be given to hospitals based on their COVID-9 patient numbers. CBS reported that it’s unclear what might happen when the deal between Gilead and HHS ends in October.

The federal government doesn’t plan to stockpile the drug, but will use data on patients with COVID-19 and allocate remdesivir based on that information, the official said.

CBS reported that in 127 less developed countries, Gilead is allowing generic drug makers to supply the drug, with two countries doing that for around $600 per treatment course.

Copyright 2020 WVLT via CBS. All rights reserved.

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