Pharma firm with drug for seriously ill Covid-19 patients upset with attorneys general harsh criticism over pricing, availability

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Pharmaceutical maker Gilead is criticizing a letter from state Attorneys General that claims the company is not equipped to handle the demand for the drug our investigational drug remdesivir.

Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings was among the 34 AGs from both political parties who signed the letter that also criticized the cost of the drug (more than $3,000 per treatment in some cases) even though Gilead’s research has been government-supported.

The northern California company has long been under fire for what critics have claimed is an inflated price and a shortage of the drug that has shown promise in treating severely ill patients with coronavirus.

The drug has been authorized for emergency use by federal regulators.

“One significant factual error is the assertion that all 3.5 million current Covid-19 patients should be treated with remdesivir,” the company stated. “This assertion ignores the fact that not all Covid-19 patients are eligible to be treated with remdesivir and, thankfully, many will recover prior to hospitalization and never need the drug. Under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), remdesivir is only indicated for use by hospitalized patients with severe Covid-19

Gilead went on to say that it is investing more than $1 billion this year to expand its manufacturing capacity for remdesivir.

“Through our proactive efforts, we have increased supply more than 50-fold since January of this year,” the statement claimed.

The company went on to justify the cost, claiming that hospitals will see significant savings from the drug shortening the stays for hospital patients.

“Gilead will encourage the Administration to remain focused on ensuring that U.S. patients continue to receive access to remdesivir and maintaining incentives for Gilead and others to continue to invest in developing much needed treatments and vaccines,” the company statement concluded.

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