How the race to develop treatments and a vaccine will create a historic windfall for the industry — and everyone else will pay the price
Remdesivir is the first drug that received EU approval for coronavirus treatment.
Congressman Doggett has been seeking information from both Secretary Azar and Gilead on remdesivir pricing for almost two months. Neither disclosed the huge taxpayer expenditure that the Trump Administration is making today to purchase remdesivir supplies through September. Copies of related correspondence are available upon request.
Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, called the price „outrageous.“
„Without a taxpayer investment of $99 million, this drug would have been abandoned. It would be on the scrap heap of failures,“ he tells NPR. „So it’s the taxpayer who’s really taking the risk here and ought to get the reward of the angel investors that taxpayers are.“
Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, echoed his remarks with a similar sentiment.
According to Reuters, the WHO is also leading a trial into whether remdesivir, Gilead’s antiviral treatment, can be used for Covid-19 infections.
Early into the health crisis, Gilead began testing remdesivir as a possible treatment for the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. The antiviral initially had been studied in other coronaviruses — severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). More recently, remdesivir entered clinical trials for COVID-19, and as promising data emerged, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted the drug Emergency Use Authorization.
Separately, Gilead also provided updates on its production plans for the drug, noting that it expects to have over two million Remdesivir treatment courses manufactured by the end of 2020, with the number rising further over 2021, as it optimizes the manufacturing process.
For more details on the stock price and fundamental performance of some of the key U.S. listed companies developing coronavirus therapeutics, view our theme of Covid-19 Treatment Stocks.
Holmes traded out two stocks a week later, on Jan. 29, then on Feb. 27 made two purchases that could prove advantageous in the weeks ahead: Holmes purchased between $15,001 and $50,000 of stock in each of two more companies, the pharmaceutical company Gilead, Inc. — which makes remdesivir, a drug that is currently being tested to treat coronavirus — and wipe manufacturer Clorox.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Thursday its human medicines committee (CHMP) recommended conditionally approving the drug for adults and adolescents from 12 years of age who are also suffering from pneumonia and require oxygen support. (https://bit.ly/3i3O6Ck)
European Union conditional marketing authorisation allows a treatment to be sold for a year in the 27-nation bloc before all necessary data on its efficacy and side-effects are available. Gilead has until December to submit this data.
Israel will receive a donation of Remdesivir, an experimental antiviral drug for COVID-19, from its U.S. manufacturer, Israel’s prime minister’s office said on Tuesday.
The Israeli cabinet approved in a telephone vote the decision by the Health Ministry to issue a permit to accept a donation of the drug from Gilead Sciences Inc, the U.S. biopharmaceutical company that produces the drug.
Gilead Sciences Inc has signed agreements with four pharma companies, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd, Biocon arm Syngene International Ltd, Zydu Cadila Ltd and Egypt-based Eva Pharma Pvt Ltd, for manufacturing and sale of remdesivir, which has shown greater impact during initial two phases of trials. The company had previously signed pacts with five other companies including Cipla, Jubilant Life, Hetero Drugs, Mylon and Pakistan’s Ferozsons Laboratories.
Early drafts of the legislation included a provision stipulating that COVID-19 vaccines, drugs and tests be affordable if they were developed with taxpayer funds. But the final bill included additional language that undercut that requirement.
Remdesivir use was not associated with a difference in time to clinical improvement (hazard ratio 1·23 [95% CI 0·87–1·75]). Although not statistically significant, patients receiving remdesivir had a numerically faster time to clinical improvement than those receiving placebo among patients with symptom duration of 10 days or less (hazard ratio 1·52 [0·95–2·43]). Adverse events were reported in 102 (66%) of 155 remdesivir recipients versus 50 (64%) of 78 placebo recipients. Remdesivir was stopped early because of adverse events in 18 (12%) patients versus four (5%) patients who stopped placebo early.
According to STAT’s screenshot, 14% of the 158 patients treated with remdesivir died 28 days after treatment, compared to 13% of the 79 who were on placebo. Notably, investigators in China stopped giving remdesivir due to side effects in 18 patients versus in just four who received placebo.
Anthony Fauci, the head of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is conducting the study, said at a White House meeting with President Donald Trump and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards that the trial showed a significant positive effect in treating the virus.
Erstmals hat das noch nicht zugelassene Arzneimittel Remdesivir in einer hochwertigen Studie gezeigt, dass Corona-Patienten von dem Mittel profitieren können. Anthony Fauci, der Corona-Berater von US-Präsident Donald Trump, sagte gestern, Remdesivir habe eine „signifikante positive Wirkung bei der Verringerung der Zeit bis zur Genesung“.
Dass Raoults Forschungsergebnisse auf eine solche negative Resonanz bei der Obrigkeit und den Mainstream-Medien trafen, lässt sich dadurch erklären, dass das Aufkommen eines effizienten und billigen Medikamentes auf dem französischen und europäischen Markt die Projekte von zwei Pharmafirmen, Gilead und Abbvie, durchkreuzen würde. Diese beiden Firmen stellen zwei ebenfalls gegen Covid-19 eingesetzte Medikamente her: Gilead stellt das sehr teure Anti-Ebola-Mittel Remdesivir her und Abbvie Kaletra ein Kombinationspräparat aus den Anti-HIV-Medikamenten Lopinavir und Ritonavir. Bekanntlich reicht der Arm der starken Pharmaindustrie bis in die hohen Sphären der französischen Gesundheitspolitik. Und aus diesen hohen Sphären haben die oben erwähnten Firmen drei Personen, die sich – was für eine Überraschung! – als prominenteste Gegner Raoults und des Hydroxychloroquins geoutet haben: