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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Photo: Ulrich Perrey/POOL/AFP

Remdesivir has shown only modest results against the coronavirus so far, but is expected to rake in billions for Gilead over the next two years, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Remdesivir is currently one of our only treatments for the virus, but even so, there are questions about whether its price tag is justified.

Driving the news: The government is no longer in charge of distributing the drug as of yesterday, and Gilead is seeking full approval for the drug by the Food and Drug Administration, which would likely expand its use.

  • Remdesivir costs $3,120 per course, and is set to bring in more than $9 billion for Gilead in 2020 and 2021, according to an estimate by a Credit Suisse investment analyst.

Yes, but: The most conclusive evidence so far found that the drug reduces hospital stays from 15 to 11 days, but does not significantly decrease a patients' likelihood of dying.

  • "The drug clearly has some kind of benefit, but it's really not clear how great of a benefit it is," Walid Gellad, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Medicine, told the Post. "The pricing is based on this drug that has a huge impact, and it's turning out that it does not have a huge impact."

The other side: "The bottom line is that clinical data demonstrate that patients taking Veklury (remdesivir) recover four days faster than those taking placebo, and Veklury costs less than a one-day hospital stay, resulting in immediate savings to the health care system," Gilead spokesman Chris Ridley told the Post.

Go deeper

Jan 8, 2021 - Health

Biden to release nearly all available COVID-19 vaccine doses to the public

Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden plans to release nearly all available coronavirus vaccine doses when he takes office, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Releasing nearly all doses would allow more people to get vaccinated with at least one dose. At the moment, the Trump administration is withholding half of U.S. vaccine production to ensure recipients receive their second dose, which is required by both the Moderna and Pfizer shots to ensure 95% efficacy.

The Week America Changed

Sandberg thought Zuckerberg was "nuts" on remote work in January 2020

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Paul Marotta/Getty Image

Chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg thought Mark Zuckerberg was "nuts" when he raised the possibility in January 2020 that 50,000 Facebook employees might have to work from home. By March 6, they were.

Why it matters: In an interview Monday with Axios Re:Cap, Sandberg explained how Facebook moved quickly to respond to the pandemic with grants for small businesses and work-from-home stipends for its employees, and how the company has been watching the unfolding crisis for women in the workforce.

Supreme Court declines to hear case on qualified immunity for police officers

The Supreme Court on March 5. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal for a lawsuit brought against Cleveland police officers that challenges the scope of qualified immunity, the legal doctrine which has been used to shield officers from lawsuits alleging excessive force, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The doctrine has been the subject of scrutiny from civil rights advocates. Eliminating qualified immunity was one of the key demands of demonstrators during nationwide protests in 2020 following the killing of George Floyd.

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