Gilead Sciences Inc’s antiviral remdesivir could be priced up to $5,080 per course based on benefits shown in COVID-19 patients, a US drug pricing research group suggested on Wednesday, above its prior recommendation of around $4,500.
The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) said itsrecommendation change stemmed from recent clinical data, updated cost estimates, public comments and interactions with Gilead.
However, Boston-based ICER suggested a lower price range of around $2,520 to $2,800, if steroid dexamethasone were to be cleared for use in COVID-19. The cheap and widely used steroid was found to reduce death rates in severely ill patients in a study earlier this month.
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What Gilead could charge for remdesivir in the United States after its pledged donations are used up has been a topic of intense debate, with experts suggesting that Gilead would need to avoid the appearance of taking advantage of a health crisis for profits.
The drugmaker has signed licensing agreements with a bevy of Indian drugmakers including Cipla Ltd and Hetero Labs Ltd.
Cipla’s version is priced at 5,000 Indian rupees ($66.09), while Hetero Lab’s version is priced at 5,400 rupees.