State treasurers from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Maine, Iowa, Oregon, Colorado, Wisconsin, Texas, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts asked Gilead Sciences (GILD) to reduce the price of its experimental remdesivir treatment for Covid-19. The state officials argued that remdesivir is an older drug and the current pricing does not reflect economic reality. In a letter to Gilead chief executive Daniel O’Day, the group urged Gilead to not take “financial advantage” of the pandemic to pursue “unreasonable profits” because it “sets a dangerous precedent for future treatments in development.”
Last month, a several state attorney generals encouraged the federal government to circumvent the patents for remdesivir over worries that there would be insufficient supplies available to hospitals across the US. They leveled accusations that Gilead was placing profits over patients.
A spokesperson Gilead wrote that the company is “disappointed by the mischaracterization of the development and pricing… Gilead took a thoughtful approach to pricing during this pandemic.” He emphasized that the drug costs less than a one-day stay in the hospital adding that “we have set a price that is significantly below the value it provides to healthcare systems and patients, and in a way that will facilitate patients’ rapid access to the drug.” Read more here.
(Source: Ed Silverman, STAT News, September 21, 2020)