Given the potential to save lives, Gilead said its price is "well below" the drug's value.
Piper Sandler analyst Tyler Van Buren said that the remdesivir pricing for developed countries, is "perfectly reasonable" and within expectations considering that the "value of early discharge is $12,000 per the USA government".
Remdesivir's price has been a topic of intense debate since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its emergency use in some COVID-19 patients in May.
Gilead also said Monday it had reached agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services to manage the allocation of remdesivir in the US through September.
The regimen requires six vials of remdesivir over a five-day period; each vial is $390 in the United States and for the governments of developed countries, bringing the total to $2,340 for each person.
Critics called the pricing an "outrage" because the drug received at least $70 million in public funding toward its development.
In the developing world, Gilead has deals with generic manufacturers to allow treatment at substantially lower costs. "Remdesivir, our investigational treatment, is the first antiviral to have demonstrated patient improvement in clinical trials for COVID-19 and there is no playbook for how to price a new medicine in a pandemic".
Remdesivir is a viral RNA polymerase inhibitor which means that it interferes with the production of viral genetic material, preventing the virus from multiplying.
Researchers have found that remdesivir can speed up recovery in patients infected with COVID-19.
The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, a nonprofit group that analyses drug prices, said remdesivir would be cost-effective in a range of US$4580 to US$5080 ($6683 to $7413) if it saved lives.
It had not improved survival according to preliminary results after two weeks of followup. But new information that a affordable steroid known as dexamethasone increases survival suggests remdesivir really should be priced among $two, 520 and $two, 800, the team explained.
"This is a high price for a drug that has not been shown to reduce mortality", Dr Steven Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic said in an email. "It was developed using significant taxpayer funding". "This price will be offer to all governments in developed countries around the world where remdesivir is approved or authorised for use".
"The price puts to rest any notion that drug companies will "do the right thing" because it is a pandemic", Dr Peter Bach, a health policy expert at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NY said in an email. It was granted emergency use authorisation by USA regulators in May.
Wall Street analysts have said the antiviral drug could generate billions of dollars in revenue over the next couple of years if the pandemic continues.
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