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Gilead to Charge Hundreds Per Vial for Remdesivir

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Trump administration says it secured new supplies of the drug for use against COVID-19

A California-based company is charging hundreds of dollars per vial for a drug it created thats shown promise against COVID-19.

Gilead Sciences announced Monday it will begin to charge for remdesivir in July, which it previously donated for free to the United States and other countries.

Gilead is charging $390 per dose, which would come to $2,340 per patient for a five-day course or $4,290 for a 10-day course.

The pricing decision was based on making sure developed countries could access remdesivir, Gilead CEO Daniel ODay said in an open letter.

The company is using a two-tiered pricing system in America, charging the lower amount for the U.S. government but elevating the price per vial for private insurance companies.

“Because of the way the U.S. system is set up and the discounts that government healthcare programs expect, the price for U.S. private insurance companies, will be $520 per vial,” ODay said.

Citing the results of a study conducted by the U.S. government that showed remdesivir quickened time to hospital discharge, Gilead said the drug could result in hospital savings of approximately $12,000 per patient.

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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which has been helping distribute vials of remdesivir donated earlier this year, will continue to manage allocation to hospitals until the end of September, Gilead said. After that period of time, HHS wont manage allocation any longer.

Drug-remdesivir-COVID-19
Rubber stoppers are placed onto filled vials of the investigational drug remdesivir at a Gilead manufacturing site in March 2020. (Gilead Sciences via AP)

The Trump administration said in a separate announcement Monday that HHS and Gilead came to an agreement that gives the U.S. government large supplies of remdesivir through September.

The department isnt purchasing the vials.

“HHS is merely guaranteeing allocation of more than 500,000 doses to the U.S. market at a price that would be no greater to the hospitals than the WAC,” a senior HHS official told reporters in a phone call, referring to Gileads Wholesale Acquisition Price.

The final donated doses were being shipped on Monday.

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