Do Not Charge $3,120 for Newly-Approved Coronavirus Treatment Drug

Target: Dan O’Day, CEO of Gilead Sciences

Goal: Lower the price of life-saving coronavirus treatment and release the patent so it is more accessible to those in need.

Gildead Sciences has developed a COVID-19 treatment for which they will charge over $3,000. The treatment, called remdesivir, will cost $3,120 for patients covered with private health insurance and $2,340 for patients covered by government programs like Medicaid. Regardless of which type of insurance a patient has, this treatment price is exorbitant and clearly for profit.

Gilead CEO Dan O’Day defended the pricing structure saying, “We’re in uncharted territory with pricing a new medicine, a novel medicine, in a pandemic.” The price of a remdesivir treatment is more than the amount of the stimulus checks that the Trump Administration sent out to US citizens in need at the start of the pandemic.

Remdsivir is an antiviral medication that was developed originally for the treatment of Ebola and other viruses. After some international trials of remdesivir as a treatment option for COVID-19 produced positive results, the Food and Drug Administration was given emergency authorization for use in the treatment of coronavirus.

The US Department of Health has already secured half a million treatment courses of remdesivir which will be distributed to hospitals based on their numbers of COVID-19 patients. The agency has said that they believe the drug will become a “scarce resource.” Gilead donated a quarter of a million treatment courses for use by the US and other countries, but these are expected to run out in one week, after which the drug will be marketed at cost.

This leveraging of a pandemic for monetary gain is disgusting. Sign this petition to urge Gilead to not only lower the price of remdesivir, but also release the patent for the drug so that other companies can manufacture it during this time of great global need.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. O’Day,

Everyday, unimaginable numbers of people all around the world die from coronavirus. You have the power to put an end to this suffering with your antiviral drug remdesivir. However, instead of acting in the interest of the public, you have chosen to market the drug at an exorbitantly high price.

I urge you to lower the price of remdesivir and to also release the patent so that other drug manufacturing companies can produce stock of the medication to meet the global demand.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Jim Gathany




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