Geneva, 10 April 2020 – Andrew Hill et al. published a study today on ‘Minimum costs to manufacture new treatments for COVID-19’ in the Journal of Virus Eradication. The study analyses the cost of production of several promising drugs (remdesivir, favipiravir, hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, tocilizumab, azithromycin, lopinavir/ritonavir, sofosbuvir/daclatasvir, and pirfenidone) that are currently in clinical trials globally with results expected to be available from May 2020 onwards. The study shows that a full treatment course for COVID-19 (ranging between 10 and 28 days) could be priced between US$0.30 and $31. Most of the drugs being trialed for COVID-19 are repurposed drugs (existing drugs being investigated for new medical indications) and off-patent, yet several of them are currently priced far higher than this study shows their price could be.
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) welcomes this important pricing study highlighting that potential medicines for the treatment of COVID-19 could be made available to all at affordable prices during this pandemic.
Jessica Burry, Pharmacist, MSF Access Campaign
“This pricing study shows clearly that potential medicines to treat COVID-19 are not at all expensive to produce and could be priced such that anyone who needs treatment should be able to access it. Several of the treatments being trialed for COVID-19 are currently priced much higher than these estimates show they should be. Literally every single person on earth is susceptible to this pandemic—now is not the time for price gouging and pandemic profiteering. Patents and monopolies will only result in limited supply and unnecessarily high prices. Rationing drugs because of high prices and limited supply will only serve to prolong the pandemic. What good is a lifesaving drug if you can’t afford it?”