Gilead Sciences, the company that makes the drug Covid-19, announced Monday morning in an open letter that it had decided to set a price of $ 390 per vial for the United States government, which would include veterans’ hospitals and the department Defense, and other governments of developed countries. But the reduced price will not include Medicare or Medicaid.
A typical five-day course of treatment would include six vials, which would amount to $ 2,340 per patient, said Daniel O’Day, president and CEO of Gilead Sciences, in the letter.
The US government will continue to manage US hospital allowance payments until September, the company said.
The letter added that the price for US private insurance companies will be $ 520 per vial, which would total $ 3,120 per patient for a five-day treatment of six vials.
Remdesivir, which is currently administered by infusion, is the only drug approved for emergency use by the United States Food and Drug Administration to treat coronavirus infections. So far, remdesivir treatments have been donated to the United States government and allocated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. However, the last scheduled shipments of this gift by the United States government will be released today.
“We believe that all patients will have access to it”
“As with all of our actions on remdesivir, we approached it with the aim of helping as many patients as possible, as quickly as possible and in the most responsible manner. This has been our benchmark throughout the collaboration, to find quick answers on security. “And efficiency, to increase manufacturing and donate our supply of remdesivir until the end of June,” O’Day wrote in the letter.
“In each case, we recognized the need to do things differently to reflect the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic,” wrote O’Day. “Now, as we move past the donation period and set a price for the remdesivir, the same principle applies. “
“At the level at which we have set the price of remdesivir and with government programs in place, as well as additional assistance from Gilead if necessary, we believe that all patients will have access to it,” wrote O’Day. “Gilead has entered into an agreement with the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under which the HHS and the states will continue to manage the hospital allowance until the end of September. After this period, once supplies are less limited, HHS will no longer manage the allocation. ”
“President Trump received half a million remdesivir treatments until September,” Azar told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
“It is the drug that, if you are hospitalized, can cut your length of stay by a third and we are working with our states to make sure it gets to the poorest hospitals,” said Azar. “We have very serious epidemics in many counties in the southern United States. “
The allocation process
HHS noted in a press release on Monday that hospitals will receive remdesivir shipments and will not pay more than the wholesale purchase price of Gilead, which is approximately $ 3,200 per course of treatment.
“In general, patients do not pay directly for hospital drugs such as remdesivir; for Medicare and most private insurers, the cost of the drug is instead incorporated into payments made by the insurer, such as Medicare paying for the drug through a diagnostic group. “, Said the press release. “These supplies will be allocated in the same manner as Gilead’s donation of approximately 120,000 courses of treatment to remdesivir has been allocated.”
In other words, HHS allocates the product to state and territory health departments based on the needs of hospitals with Covid-19 patients, and then health departments allocate the drug to hospitals.
“The delivery of the purchased remdesivir will be streamlined, going directly to the hospital, in accordance with the state allocation decision, rather than going first to the state health services for later delivery to hospitals According to the HHS press release. Shipments will likely take place every two weeks.
CORRECTION: This patch is corrected and updated to show that medicaid is not getting the reduced price, but VA and Department of Defense hospitals are doing it.