Remdesivir: New Covid-19 drug could rake in over N781bn in sales - Media report

Remdesivir: New Covid-19 drug could rake in over N781bn in sales - Media report

- Analysts at Piper Sandler has said that a round of remdesivir for the treatment of Covid-19 could go for $4,500

- Though the company has not come out about what it would be charging, it promised to donate 1.5 million vials of the medicine

- Some interest groups, however, said that paying $1 for the daily use of the drug should cover its production cost and leave some profit

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Bloomberg has reported that a round of treatment of Covid-19 using remdesivir, a Gilead Sciences Inc’s newly approved medicine is $4,500 (N1,758,060) according to analysts at Piper Sandler.

The media said that the price is the maximum payment the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review asked for a 10-day treatment of the new drug.

It, however, said that the company behind the new medicine has not said anything about its pricing for the coronavirus drug which got approval from US regulators on Friday, May 1.

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A Piper Sandler’s analyst, Tyler Van Buren, said that paying $4,500 (N1,758,060) for saving a life “seems really reasonable".

It should be noted that Gilead Sciences Inc. had promised to give out the first 1.5 million vials of the drug. Despite that, the company can generate more than $2 billion (N781,360,000,000) in sales at the end of 2020 going by that price tag.

The company promised to donate some of the medicine. Photo source: Bloomberg

The company promised to donate some of the medicine. Photo source: Bloomberg
Source: UGC

Van Buren said that he does not think the company will disclose its pricing before they have donated the sum.

He added that “several billion in sales are easily achievable” looking at how more Covid-19 patients could be hospitalized in the nearest future.

An international organization, ICER, said that if the company just wants to recover the money that went into producing the drug, a 10-day use should cost around $10 (N3,906.80). That pricing would not include the cost that of research and development.

Another consumer group, Public Citizen said that $1 (N390.68) per day use of the drug should cover the production cost and leave “a reasonable profit”.

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“If Gilead intends to price remdesivir at more than $1 per day, Gilead must fully disclose its research and development costs and all public contributions associated with remdesivir’s development.

Then payers and independent experts can analyze again what constitutes fair pricing in a pandemic,” Peter Maybarduk, director of the group, said in a statement.

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Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that the World Health Organization ruled out the claim by Madagascar president, Andry Rajoelina's, that a herbal tonic produced in the country can cure coronavirus patients.

It should be noted that following the president's assertion, African countries such as Tanzania and Guinea-Bissau have made plans to import the said 'cure', which contains the artemisia plant, commonly used to treat malaria.

The dismissal is coming days after several media had reported that Madagascar is curing Covid-19 cases with the herbal tonic and is the reason the country has had a 92% recovery rate out of its 128 cases.

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In other news, a Nigerian lady with the name Bolaji Omosipe has posted the pictures of the material relief packages her uncle living in the US got from the American government.

Bolaji added pictures to her tweets as she said that her uncle's refrigerator is filled to the brim as he does not have anywhere to stock up.

She said she advised her uncle to give some of them out but realised that most around also collected enough packages and may not be needing the giveaway.

Bolaji added that her cousins' school also sent them some relief packages and also took the responsibility to pay half of their electricity bill.

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