The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or HHS said it has secured most of the supply of COVID-19 drug remdesivir through September. The deal would allow American hospitals to purchase the antiviral drug in allocated amounts amid the spike in confirmed cases each day.
In a statement, HHS Secretary Alex Azar said, “President Trump has struck an amazing deal to ensure Americans have access to the first authorized therapeutic for COVID-19.”
The US health department has signed a deal with remdesivir manufacturer Gilead Sciences for more than 500,000 treatment courses of the drug through the next three months. This will include 94,200 treatment courses in July, 74,900 courses in August, and 232,800 treatment courses in September. This is in addition to an allocation for clinical trials. A treatment course of remdesivir is, on average, 6.25 vials.
The deal represents 100 percent of Gilead’s projected production for July, and 90 percent of production in each of August and September.
Remdesivir is the only drug to get emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration to treat Covid-19. The drug is being studied in multiple ongoing international clinical trials.
Gilead has already donated about 120,000 treatment courses of remdesivir to the country. In the U.S., the government is coordinating the donation and distribution of Remdesivir to hospitals in cities as per the COVID-19 impact.
The HHS now said the newly available drugs will be shipped by AmerisourceBergen, likely every two weeks.
American hospitals will receive the drug in allocated amounts and will pay no more than Gilead’s Wholesale Acquisition Price, which amounts to around $3,200 per treatment course. In the country, patients do not pay directly for hospital-administered drugs like remdesivir, rather the cost is incorporated into payments made by Medicare and private insurers.
Gilead this week said it has entered into agreements with generic manufacturers in the developing countries to deliver treatment at a substantially lower cost. The company has also set a price of $390 per vial for the drug for governments of developed countries. In the U.S., the same government price of $390 per vial will apply, but for U.S. private insurance companies, it will be $520 per vial.
As of now, 2,686,582 people in the United States have been infected with the novel coronavirus and 128,062 people have died due to it, according to Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide, the count is 10,695,608 confirmed cases and 516,255 deaths.
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