Maker of COVID-19 drug remdesivir will charge U.S. hospitals about $3,210 to treat typical patient

Drug maker Gilead Science says hospitals could save money with the drug because users are discharged earlier

New York hospital officials unload donated coronavirus supplies.
Steve Pfost/Newsday via Getty Images
Last Updated:
June 29, 2020 - 7:54am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

U.S. hospitals will reportedly be charged $3,120 to administer the coronavirus drug remdesivir to a typical coronavirus patient with commercial insurance.

The price was set Monday by the drug maker, Gilead Science, according to The Wall Street Journal

Gilead disclosed its pricing plans as it begins to charge for the drug in July, after having donated the drug in May, after the Food and Drug Administration authorized its use on an emergency basis.

The drugmaker will charge more for U.S. patients with private insurance and less for those insured by such government health programs as Medicare and in developed countries that insure their patients directly.

The government price will be $390 a dose or $2,340 a patient for the shortest treatment course and $4,290 for a longer course, according to The Journal.

The U.S. is the only developed country in which Gilead will charge two prices. Gilead Chief Executive Daniel O’Day said that governments in other nations negotiate drug prices directly with drugmakers. 

The higher price for commercially insured patients in the U.S. is because government health programs such as Medicaid typically receive statutorily-defined discounts off the prices companies receive in the private market. 

O’Day also said the drug will typically, in fact, help reduce hospital costs by $12,000 a patient, based on data showing that each day of hospitalization costs $3,000 and that patients taking remdesivir are discharged four days sooner than those receiving standard treatment.



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