Potential COVID-19 Treatments’ List Prices vs. Minimum Manufacturing Costs
On May 1, the FDA authorized Gilead Sciences, Inc.’s experimental antiviral drug remdesivir for emergency use in seriously ill COVID-19 patients. A 10-day course of remdesivir could cost around $4,500 if the drug is able to reduce mortality, according to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review. Meanwhile, a recent study published in the Journal of Virus Eradication showed that the drug’s minimum estimated cost of production is $9 per person. The researchers looked at the list prices of nine leading drugs that may be able to treat COVID-19, and calculated the minimum costs required to produce them based on the price of active pharmaceutical ingredients. Current list prices of all medications are significantly higher than the production costs, especially in the U.S. Graphics below show how seven drugs’ list prices in the U.S. compare with other countries.