Joe Torsella, Pennsylvania’s elected treasurer, has come out swinging, calling Gilead Sciences “immoral” for their efforts to wring profit out the investigational drug remdesiver for the treatment of COVID-19. Priced between $320-$520 per vial, Torsella states that he believes the company is reaping excessive profits from a treatment used for a global pandemic, when estimates suggest that the medication costs about $1/vial for the company to produce. The $1/vial estimate was derived from the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER).
In June, Gilead announced the remdesivir price of $2,340 for a full five-day course of treatment for government buyers, including patients with government-backed health insurance. Private insurers, meanwhile, would be charged $520 per vial, or $3,120 for a full course of treatment. The company has stated that use of remdesivir would result in an average savings of $12,000/patient as a result of shortened hospital stays.
“American taxpayers deserve a fair price for a drug they already paid to develop,” Torsella said. “It is immoral for any company to reap excessive profits from a treatment against a global pandemic. American taxpayers deserve a fair price for a drug they already paid to develop.”
Remdesivir won an emergency-use FDA approval in May based on clinical trials showing the drug shortened the recovery time for some COVID-19 patients.
(Source: Fair M, Law360, Accessed on August 7, 2020)