Gilead Has A Reputation Of Charging Through The Nose For Breakthrough Drugs. Will It For Remdesivir?
Gilead is being closely watched by lawmakers, investors and the rest of the country to see if it will choose a different path than its history suggests when it comes to pricing remdesivir--the only treatment so far that has been shown to cut hospitalization times for COVID-19 patients.
Will Gilead Price Its Coronavirus Drug For Public Good Or Company Profit?
Gilead Sciences Inc (GILD.O) faces a new dilemma in deciding how much it should profit from the only treatment so far proven to help patients infected with the novel coronavirus. The drugmaker earned notoriety less than a decade ago, when it introduced a treatment that essentially cured hepatitis C at a price of $1,000 per pill. Public outrage over the cost of Sovaldi in 2013 - despite that it was a vast improvement over existing equally expensive therapies - ignited a national debate on fair pricing for prescription medicines that the pharmaceutical industry has fought to deflect ever since. (Beasley, 5/6)
Remdesivir Helps Coronavirus Patients — But At What Cost?
Gilead has rocketed into the public consciousness with one of the most promising coronavirus treatments, but the company’s history of sky high drug pricing is drawing increasing scrutiny from Congress about how much it will charge for remdesivir and who will get access. But Gilead, which suffered through a spate of bad publicity in 2015 for charging $84,000 for a hepatitis C drug, isn’t just under fire over the potential price of its coronavirus treatment. It’s under pressure from Wall Street investors to recoup the $1 billion investment in remdesivir, which has been proven to accelerate recovery from the coronavirus. How Gilead navigates financial pressures from investors and political pressures from Washington may very well determine the mass production and availability of one of the most promising coronavirus drugs on the market. (Brennan, 5/6)
Doctors Lambaste Process For Distributing Covid-19 Drug Remdesivir
Hospitals and physicians around the country are sharply criticizing the federal government for the uneven and opaque way it is distributing its supply of the Covid-19 drug remdesivir. The experimental drug received an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration last week, after preliminary data from a clinical trial showed that it reduced how long it took hospitalized Covid-19 patients to recover. Now, as the drug’s producer, Gilead Sciences, tries to ramp up production, the U.S. government is starting to distribute the limited number of vials that aren’t needed for ongoing research, so that patients can start to see the benefit outside of clinical trials. About two dozen hospitals are believed to have been chosen to receive the drug so far, but clinicians told STAT it is unclear why some medical centers were chosen to receive coveted doses while others weren’t — and who is making those decisions in the first place. (Boodman and Ross, 5/6)