Gilead Sciences has announced pricing for its FDA-authorized drug remdesivir for COVID-19 patients. According to a statement by Gilead announcing the costs, drug prices vary based on US insurance coverage. Additional reporting by Reuters says the cost also varies based on country, with generics being manufactured for developing nations.

For US patients with private insurance, the price tag will be $3,120 per course, or $520 per vial, Gilead said. For US patients with government healthcare (ie Medicare/Medicaid), the price tag will be $2,340 per course, or $390 per vial.

Gilead Sciences Inc CEO Daniel O’Day said “there is no playbook for how to price a new medicine in a pandemic.”

“The first results from the NIAID study in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 showed that remdesivir shortened time to recovery by an average of four days. Taking the example of the United States, earlier hospital discharge would result in hospital savings of approximately $12,000 per patient,” O’Day said. “We have decided to price remdesivir well below this value.”

Outside the US and other developed nations, Gilead has “entered into agreements with generic manufacturers to deliver treatment at a substantially lower cost,” O’Day said.

How substantial?

According to Reuters, Gilead is working with generic drug companies in India and Pakistan to manufacture a generic version of remdesivir for 127 developing countries.

A generic being developed with Cipla Ltd is priced at approximately $66.24, and a generic being developed with Hetero Labs Ltd is priced at approximately $71.54, Reuters reported.