US, Gilead strike deal for large supply of remdesivir for COVID-19
On Monday, Gilead Sciences announced that remdesivir — one of the only recommended treatments for COVID-19 — will be available to governments of developed countries for $390 per vial.
Current COVID-19 treatment patterns indicate that most patients are expected to receive a 5-day course of remdesivir, according to the company. This translates to a cost of $2,340 per patient.
“As with all our actions on remdesivir, we approached this with the aim of helping as many patients as possible, as quickly as possible and in the most responsible way,” Daniel O’Day, Chairman & CEO of Gilead Sciences, wrote. “In each case, we recognized the need to do things differently to reflect the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic. Now, as we transition beyond the donation period and set a price for remdesivir, the same principle applies.”
In the U.S., the same government price of $390 per vial will apply, although the price for U.S. private insurance companies will be $520 per vial.
Shortly after the letter from Gilead was released, HHS announced an agreement that secures “large supplies” of remdesivir for the U.S. through September.
“President Trump has struck an amazing deal to ensure Americans have access to the first authorized therapeutic for COVID-19,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar II said in a press release. “To the extent possible, we want to ensure that any American patient who needs remdesivir can get it.”
According to the release from HHS, the agreement secured more than 500,000 treatment courses for American hospitals through September representing 100% of Gilead’s projected production for July (94,200 treatment courses), 90% of production in August (174,900 treatment courses), and 90% of production in September (232,800 treatment courses), as well as an allocation for clinical trials.
Gilead has also entered into agreements with generic manufacturers to provide treatment “at a substantially lower cost,” according to the letter from the company.
“Our work on remdesivir is far from done. We continue to explore its potential to help in this pandemic in various ways, such as evaluating treatment earlier in the course of the disease, in outpatient settings, with an inhaled formulation, in additional patient groups and in combination with other therapies,” O’Day wrote. “As we accumulate more data from global clinical trials and initiate many additional studies, we will understand more about the full value of remdesivir over time.”