Jun 26, 2020 - Health

Group updates price ranges for Gilead's coronavirus drug

Gilead's white and red logo outside of its headquarters building.

Gilead has not yet named a price for remdesivir yet. Photo: Liu Guanguan/China News Service via Getty Images

A fair price for Gilead's coronavirus drug, remdesivir, likely should not exceed $2,800 for a course of treatment, according to updated estimates from experts at the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review.

The bottom line: Gilead hasn't released a final price for remdesivir yet, and it could set the bar for other coronavirus treatments that come after it.

Details: ICER — which conducts cost-effectiveness analyses on drugs and other medical treatments — originally released remdesivir price estimates in May, but revised its figures as more information has come out:

  • $10 per treatment: Same low-end estimate assumes recovery of basic costs plus a small margin.
  • $310 per treatment: This price reflects the drug's current clinical benefit, which reduces hospitalization time but does not reduce the chance of death. (If the drug shows a mortality benefit later, this could go up to $5,000.)
  • $600 per treatment: Roughly what generic drug companies are charging for remdesivir overseas.
  • $1,600 per treatment: If Gilead tried to recoup new research costs.
  • $2,800 per treatment: This assumes dexamethasone becomes the new standard for hospitalized coronavirus patients, and "therefore the overall lives and life years saved with remdesivir are lower," ICER said.
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