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.

© 2021 MMIT

Jinghong Chen Reporter

Jinghong produces infographics and data stories on health insurance and specialty pharmacy for AIS Health. She graduated from Missouri School of Journalism with a focus on data journalism and international reporting. Before joining AIS in 2018, she worked at WBEZ, Al Jazeera English and The New York Times Chinese.

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