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State Treasurer calling for Remdesivir price to be lowered

According to Torsella and review estimates, it costs $1 to produce a vial of the COVID-19 treatment. The pharmaceutical manufacturer though, are charging much more.

HARRISBURG, Pa. β€” Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella, is calling on Gilead for fair pricing of the coronavirus drug, Remdesivir. 

Treasurer Torsella wants the pricing to be reconsidered of the breakthrough treatment for COVID-19, Remdesivir. He says it roughly costs $1 to produce a vial of it. However, the manufacturer is pricing it at a much higher cost.

Treasurer Torsella released a statement on Wednesday regarding Gilead charging thousands of dollars per treatment course.

According to Torsella and review estimates, it costs $1 to produce a vial of the COVID-19 treatment. The pharmaceutical manufacturer though, is charging $520 per vial, or $3,120 per treatment course. That is for patients with private insurance. 

If you have government insurance  the price comes down a bit. Patients will pay $390 per vial, or $2,340 per treatment course. 

Officials say this drug has the potential to avert our nation's health crisis. According to a clinical study by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases -- Remdesivir shortened recovery time by four days. Although it did not reduce fatalities. 

The funding that backed the development of the drug comes from at least 70 million dollars of taxpayer dollars, which is why some officials want the price to be lowered. 

β€œIt is immoral for any company to reap excessive profits from a treatment against a global pandemic. American taxpayers deserve a fair price for a drug they already paid to develop,” said Torsella. 

He said we've lost more than 150,000 Americans to COVID-19, that now is not the time to squeeze extravagant costs from hospitals, families, or tax payers -- especially for a vial that only costs $1 to make. 

Attorney General Josh Shapiro has joined other state leaders in co-signing a letter. The letter calls on U.S. Government officials to force Gilead to lower the price of Remdesivir, and to produce more of it.