For Price Tag, Gilead Presuming Remdesivir Saves Hospitals Money. But Experts Say That’s Premature.
All eyes are on Gilead as the company decides on a price for the only treatment that has so far passed gold-standard trials in treating COVID-19. But experts say the company may be making false assumptions when it comes to setting the cost. Meanwhile, the federal government's distribution of the drug has been better, but there's still room for improvement.
Will Using Remdesivir Save Hospitals Money?
Gilead Sciences is factoring potential savings to hospitals into its pricing decision for its promising COVID-19 treatment remdesivir, but hospitals and health policy experts say hospital savings will be difficult to quantify this early. Gilead is running its own cost-savings analysis for hospitals, according to a SVB Leerink investor note. So far, hospitals have received remdesivir for free because Gilead has plans to donate enough doses to treat more than 120,500 hospitalized COVID-19 patients by early June. (Cohrs, 6/5)
The Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Distribution Of Covid-19 Drug Remdesivir Improved But Still Wasn’t Enough
After a rocky start, the federal government sent nearly a half-million doses of Covid-19 drug remdesivir to states over three weeks last month, but the supplies weren’t enough to treat the tens of thousands of hospitalized patients, a Wall Street Journal analysis of shipment and hospitalization data found. Supplies of the Gilead Sciences Inc. drug rose across states over those weeks—to enough to treat between 40,000 and 74,000 patients—according to Health and Human Services Department data reviewed by the Journal. (Walker, 6/5)
In other pharmaceutical news —
Blood Pressure Drugs Linked To Lower COVID-19 Mortality: Study
Widely used drugs to control high blood pressure may help protect against severe COVID-19, a new study found, allaying concerns that they could make the illness caused by the coronavirus worse. Overall, patients with high blood pressure did have twice the risk of death and were more likely to need mechanical ventilation to help them breathe than those without hypertension - a known risk factor - researchers reported on Thursday in the European Heart Journal. (Joseph, 6/4)
Patients With High Blood Pressure Have Twice The Risk Of Dying From Coronavirus, Study Finds
Coronavirus patients with high blood pressure have twice the risk of dying from the infection, an international study has found. High blood pressure has been known to worsen the risk of serious symptoms, but the study, published Thursday in the European Heart Journal, shows just how bad the risk is. (Fox, 6/4)