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The Public Already Has Paid for Remdesivir

Taxpayers Have Contributed at Least $70.5 Million to Develop Medication That Has Become Experimental Coronavirus Treatment

Remdesivir, an experimental COVID-19 treatment by Gilead Sciences, has benefited at every stage of development from public funding through federal grants and clinical trials.

New information by Public Citizen estimates that taxpayers have contributed at least $70.5 million to develop the drug, nearly double a previous public estimate of $37.5 million. Initially tested by Gilead as a hepatitis C treatment, remdesivir was refined, developed and evaluated by federal scientists for Ebola and coronaviruses.

Federal scientists led the team that found that remdesivir was active against coronaviruses, and the federal government provided funding for Gilead’s work on the compound. The National Institutes of Health ran the trial that led to remdesivir’s emergency use authorization, and public funding is supporting clinical trials around the world today.

The findings come as Gilead decides how to price remdesivir, which benefits from patents and other government-granted marketing exclusivities. Public Citizen has called for Gilead to price remdesivir at $1 per day or less, which is more than the cost of manufacturing at scale plus a reasonable profit.

Read the information here