The Disgusting and Demented Logic and Lies on the Pricing of Remdesivir

Last Updated on June 5, 2022 by Shaun Snapp

Executive Summary

  • Enormous lies were told to justify the predatory pricing of Remdesivir.
  • We cover the erroneous logic put forward.

Introduction

Some ludicrous logic was put forward to justify the price on Remdesivir. This ridiculous logic was put forward not only by the drug maker but also by Wall Street analysts.

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The following quotes are from an article published at NPR

The drugmaker behind the experimental COVID-19 treatment remdesivir has announced how much it will charge for the drug, after months of speculation as the company tried to figure out how to balance profit and public health needs in the middle of a pandemic.

In the United States, Gilead Sciences will charge $520 per vial for patients with private insurance, with some government programs getting a lower price. With a double-dose the first day, that comes out to $3,120 for the five-day treatment course. For governments in developed countries outside the U.S., it will cost $390 per vial, or $2,340 for the five-day course. How much uninsured patients would pay is still unclear.

“At the level we have priced remdesivir and with government programs in place, along with additional Gilead assistance as needed, we believe all patients will have access,” Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day said in an open letter posted Monday morning.

Since then, reaction to the price has been mixed.

Some advocacy organizations and members of Congress say Gilead is taking advantage of Americans during a pandemic.

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.

“In an offensive display of hubris and disregard for the public, Gilead has priced at several thousand dollars a drug that should be in the public domain,” Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program said in a written statement.

(In a quarterly financial filing, Gilead said its investment in remdesivir for 2020 alone “could be up to $1 billion or more,” much of that money used to scale up manufacturing capacity.) – NPR

That is very unlikely and is an exaggeration. The government could have contracted to manufacture Remdesivir at a far lower cost than this. The drug’s development was funded not by Gilead but by the US government.

Wall Street Analysts Demand Extraordinary Price Gouging

The quote continues…

Still, analysts expected Gilead to set a higher price than the company did.

Geoffrey Porges, an analyst at the investment bank SVB Leerink, said the announced price for the drug offers a “spectacularly good value.”

“It’s unprecedented to price the drug below the medical costs that it’s saving,” Porges said, adding that remdesivir could save up to $40,000 per patient, if it prevents a COVID-19 patient from needing the ICU. And there’s even more value that’s not built into Gilead’s price, he says.

“That ignores the enormous societal value that everybody else gets from making a patient less infectious, for getting a patient back into the community, for getting them back to work sooner,” Porges said. “All of those societal benefits aren’t even considered in this price.”

This shows the orientation of all Wall Street analysts. Unless extraordinary price gouging is performed, Wall Street analysts are disappointed. At $3120 per dose for something Gilead did not develop is price gouging, but not sufficient price gouging for Wall Street analysts.

As I will show later in the article, the estimated benefit of Remdesivir is most likely negative. This Wall Street analyst has no idea what they are talking about.

The quote continues…

The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, or ICER, an influential nonprofit that analyzes drug pricing, said Gilead showed “restraint” and set a “responsible” price.

That said, ICER President Steven Pearson noted that this reasoning assumes remdesivir will eventually be shown to improve COVID-19 survival — something research hasn’t yet proven.

A federally funded study by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases published at the end of April indicated that remdesivir can shorten COVID-19 patients’ hospital stays by about four days. But it’s unclear whether the drug also improves survival.

“If further data do not show a clear mortality benefit for remdesivir, then the price of the drug should be dramatically reduced,” Pearson said in his written statement.

Why is the drug being priced at the level of its benefit? Why not price the medicine at the cost of development and manufacturing?

The quote continues…

The drug price will send a message to companies working on other treatments, vaccines and cures for COVID-19. They have been watching remdesivir closely to find out what kind of reward they might expect for their investments, should their own treatments pan out.

The problem with this logic is that Remdesivir had its clinical trials rigged by the NIH to make it appear more effective and hide the side effects. This drug is ridiculously priced, and the logic presented here that other drug manufacturers need to see that Gilead receives absurd unearned profit margins for faking clinical trials to become motivated.

The quote continues…

At the announced price, Gilead is still expected to profit from remdesivir sales. That should be encouraging for companies currently investing and developing additional COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. “Gilead will make a good amount of money selling this product,” Craig Garthwaite, who directs the health care program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, told NPR. “And that’s really the return other people have been looking at. In the end, really, the other firms aren’t necessarily looking at the price Gilead charges. What they’re really looking at is, what is the payoff that they get on their investment? “

That seems like an idiotic statement. At $3120 per dose, Gilead would profit immeasurably for Remdesivir.

The quote continues…

Until now, Gilead had been donating doses of remdesivir for use in clinical trials and under the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization announced in May. The last of the donated supply was distributed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Monday.

HHS announced that it has “secured” an additional 500,000 treatment courses for the United States — the majority of remdesivir that Gilead plans to manufacture in July, August and September. Although hospitals and insurers will now be charged for the drug, the federal government will continue to manage distribution, which had initially been plagued by confusion when it began in early May.

Overall, the price is less than the highest estimates of what it might be, but more than the lowest ones, Michael Carrier, a professor at Rutgers Law School who specializes in antitrust and pharmaceuticals, told NPR.

“Shareholders aren’t getting the maximum they wanted but that’s to be expected in this environment,” he wrote in an email. “With no simple way to determine what a drug is worth, there will always be plenty to debate!” – NPR

Another moronic quote and all of these statements assume that Remdesivir is a good treatment, which it is not. In the article How Safe Are the Covid Vaccines Versus Ivermectin and Remdesivir, you can see the supporting math for the following relative risk for the drug.

Mathematical Comparison #2: Relative Risk Per Dose

  • Covid Vaccines Versus Remdesivir Relative Risk = 28,888 / 13,192 =  2.1
  • This means Remdesivir has 2.1x as many adverse reactions per dose as the Covid vaccines.
  • Covid Vaccines Versus Ivermectin Relative Risk = 636,613 / 28,888 =  22
  • This means Covid vaccines have 22x as many adverse reactions per dose as the Ivermectin.
  • Ivermectin Versus Remdesivir Relative Risk = 636,613 / 13,192 = 48
  • This means Remdesivir has 48x as many adverse reactions per dose as the Ivermectin.

What should also be noted is that while Ivermectin is roughly $1 per dose, Remdesivir is $3120 per dose. And Ivermectin has proven to be more than 3x more effective than Remdesivir while having far more studies. This means that Ivermectin is most likely far more effective than Remdesivir. You can see this in the article How Effective is Ivermectin Versus the Pfizer and Moderna Corona Vaccines?

Yet observe this quote from The Guardian in July of 2020.

“President Trump has struck an amazing deal to ensure Americans have access to the first authorised therapeutic for Covid-19,” said the US health and human services secretary, Alex Azar. “To the extent possible, we want to ensure that any American patient who needs remdesivir can get it. The Trump administration is doing everything in our power to learn more about life-saving therapeutics for Covid-19 and secure access to these options for the American people.” – The Guardian

This was a massive waste of money that would have been better spent on commodity nutrient supplements to allow the immune system of citizens to function better, as there is a widespread nutrient deficiency in all countries, as I cover in the article The Reality But Ignored Topic of Widespread Nutrient Deficiency. Rather than addressing this foundational health issue, the US government decided to enrich a corrupt pharmaceutical company.

Vitamin D from a high-quality manufacturer like Life Extension that is quality certified (and which I take), costs around $5 for a month’s supply. If the US government purchased large quantities, it could probably reduce the price to $2.5 due to volume discounts.

This means that for a single treatment of Remdesivir for one person ($3120), the US government could have provided Vitamin D supplements for $3120/$2.5 = 125 people. Remdesivir cost the government $99 M to create. $99 M / $2.5 = 39.6 M. This means that for the price of developing a useless drug, which then requires more government money to procure, the US government could have sent out a month of Vitamin D supplements to 39.6 million people. And this Vitamin D would have helped those people in many areas of health, not just fighting covid. This brings up why the US government is not providing free nutrient supplements to the entire nation for free. This would dramatically reduce the costs of the US medical system.

Conclusion

Wall Street analysts that comment on drugs have zero credibility, as do the manufacturers of drugs. Remdesivir is a disaster of an ineffective drug against covid and far less effective than many vitamins and nutritional supplements, which I cover in the article Why Are Some Natural Supplements Effective Against Covid and has significant side effects. The medical system is so rigged in favor of pharmaceuticals, even dangerous pharmaceuticals, that the government is spending money on Remdesivir rather than simply recommending more effective treatments like Vitamin D or Zinc.

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