Is the Price Right for COVID-19 Treatment Remdesivir?

Since the first studies emerged suggesting Gilead Sciences, Inc.’s remdesivir was a promising treatment for COVID-19, speculation has abounded regarding what price the manufacturer would set for the antiviral drug. On June 29, Gilead ended that speculation by revealing that it will charge $2,340 for a typical five-day, six-vial treatment course for people covered by U.S. government health programs and $3,120 for those covered by private insurance.

Remdesivir has not been approved by the FDA, but the agency did grant the infused drug an Emergency Use Authorization for the treatment of hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19. It is being studied in multiple international trials; one U.S.-government led study found remdesivir shortened COVID-19 patients’ recovery time by 31%.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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