Gilead Sciences (GILD) - Get Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD) Report and its distributor have been cleared to sell its remdesivir coronavirus drug directly to hospitals, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday.
Shares of the Foster City, Calif., biopharma at last check were little changed at $63.05.
The drug, branded as Veklury, was being distributed across the U.S. by HHS, but Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement that federal government oversight of the allocation of remdesivir is not required "because the drug is no longer a scarce resource."
Gilead said in a statement it was meeting real-time demand for remdesivir in the U.S. and expects to meet global demand for the drug in October, "even in the event of potential future surges of covid-19."
The drug wholesaler AmerisourceBergen (ABC) - Get AmerisourceBergen Corporation Report will continue to serve as the sole U.S. distributor of remdesivir through year's end and will sell the product directly to hospitals.]\
Gilead donated courses of the drug after it was authorized in May for use in patients with a severe form of covid-19.
The cost of remdesivir will not change in the transition from U.S. government oversight of allocation to direct commercial sales, HHS said.
Hospitals will continue to pay no more than Gilead’s wholesale acquisition price, the government said, which is roughly $3,200 per treatment course.
Generally, patients do not pay directly for hospital-administered drugs like remdesivir, HHS said. For Medicare and most private insurers, the drug’s cost is incorporated into the overall treatment costs based on the patient’s diagnosis.
Results from three randomized, controlled clinical trials have consistently demonstrated the clinical benefits of the drug, Gilead said. Trial data indicated that remdesivir helped shorten hospital recovery time.