The maker of remdesivir, Gilead, has announced that it will charge US patients -or their insurance companies – $2340 for the five-day treatment package until September, when it will INCREASE the price to $3120, a 33% increase, for no apparent reason other than the fact that they can charge whatever they want.

In order to meet the demand, Gilead is contracting with generic drug makers in China and India. In India, the price for the five-day treatment package will be $330.

The drug that Gilead is distributing at a cost that will range from $2340 to $3120 is EXACTLY the same drug that will be sold in India for $330. In fact, Gilead isn’t actually producing the drug. The generic drug manufacturers are producing the drug for Gilead.

Remdesivir does not “cure” COVID-19. The drug shortens the course of the disease and appears to reduce or eliminate the need for respirator treatment. Gilead estimates that the drug will save hospitals an average of $12,000 per patient by reducing the duration and extremity of the symptoms.

The price differential will affect the United States and other developed countries. which will, in effect, be paying an inflated price to subsidize the cost of the treatment in other countries.

India is not a Third World Country anymore. There is no conceivable reason that a poor person in the United States should pay approximately TEN TIMES MORE for the same treatment that a patient – any patient, wealthy or indigent – will pay in India.

Capitalism at its finest, once again.

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