Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02) and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement responding to the announcement by the pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences that remdesivir, a medication which has been used to treat COVID19 and was developed with substantial taxpayer investment, would be priced at $3120 for a typical US patient with health insurance:
“In a time of unprecedented national suffering, with more than 125,000 of our neighbors, coworkers, and loved ones dead from the coronavirus, Gilead has chosen to exploit the desperation of millions and profiteer off a pandemic. This doesn’t come as a surprise – after all, this is the same company that once priced a lifesaving Hepatitis C drug, Sovaldi, at $1000 per pill, totaling $84,000 for a single course of treatment. Sadly, as we’ve seen all too often from Big Pharma, saving lives is incidental to their business model – the profit motive always comes first.
“But just because Gilead will exploit this pandemic, that doesn’t mean that Congress should let them. As we consider future legislation to address the ongoing pandemic, we urge Democratic Leadership to pass H.R. 7296, the bipartisan Make Medications Affordable by Preventing Pandemic Pricegouging Act, sponsored by Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.
“Researchers have estimated that Gilead could cover the price of manufacturing remdesivir at scale with reasonable profit at a market price of $1 per day. But instead, Gilead plans to charge $520 a vial – an outrageous and unjustifiable mark-up. Big Pharma’s greed is a danger to public health – Congress cannot allow it to go unaddressed any longer.”