Treasurer Torsella Calls For Fair Pricing Of Coronavirus Drug Remdesivir

Remdesivir manufacturer Gilead charging thousands per treatment course

Harrisburg, PA - Pennsylvania State Treasurer Joe Torsella today, as a company shareholder, called on Gilead to reconsider its pricing of a breakthrough treatment of COVID-19, called remdesivir. The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review estimates that it costs Gilead approximately $1 to produce a vial of remdesivir, yet the pharmaceutical manufacturer has priced the drug at $520 per vial, or $3,120 per treatment course, for patients with private insurance in the U.S., and $390 per vial, or $2,340 per treatment course, for patients with government insurance.

“It is immoral for any company to reap excessive profits from a treatment against a global pandemic. American taxpayers deserve a fair price for a drug they already paid to develop. In these turbulent economic conditions, each new breakthrough in treatment or prevention of COVID-19 has an effect on the stock market and uncompetitive, non-negotiable pricing hurts long term shareholder value. We’ve lost more than 150,000 Americans to COVID-19. Now is not the time to squeeze extravagant costs from hospitals, taxpayers, or families for a vial that costs only $1 to create.”

Pennsylvania State Treasurer, Joe Torsella

In a clinical study sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, remdesivir was found to be effective at modestly shortening recovery time by four days, on average, but did not reduce fatalities. The development of remdesivir was funded by at least $70 million in U.S. taxpayer dollars in 2015, initially as an antiviral drug against Ebola. It proved ineffective against Ebola, but is the only treatment authorized by the Food and Drug Administration against COVID-19.

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