$2k price tag for Covid-19 drug shows pharma industry ‘out of touch with reality’

$2k price tag for Covid-19 drug shows pharma industry ‘out of touch with reality’

Date: 29 June 2020
Campaigns: Pharma

Reacting to US pharma company Gilead’s announcement of global pricing for its remdesivir drug, Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now, said:

“Remdesivir is a drug which has been produced with substantial amounts of public money in the US, and which researchers have estimated could be made for $9 per treatment course (1), but here is Big Pharma company Gilead generously only charging over $2,000! While that is reduced to $600 in lower-income countries, these are still vast price tags.

Gilead claims this is well below what it would otherwise charge, which goes to show how completely out of touch this industry is with reality. They expect to make a whopping $1.3 billion from sales of the drug in 2020 alone (2). If this is Big Pharma at its most generous, we shouldn’t wait around until the pandemic is officially over to find out what outrageous charge they will put on the public purse at that time.

Governments have a right to override this ludicrous patent system under international law, and they should take the opportunity to do that now, saving the NHS and patients around the world from the profiteering of these dysfunctional corporations.”

Notes for journalists

1. Covid-19 drugs could be made for $1 per day, say academics, Financial Times, 10 April 2020.

2. Gilead sets price for Covid-19 treatment as HHS secures doses, Politico, 29 June 2020.

Photo: Pictures of Money/Flickr