It will cost a patient whopping KSh 249, 324 for a complete dosage of remdesivir drug after it proved effective in speeding recovery following a series of clinical trials.
California-based drugmaker Gilead Sciences said each vial of the drug could cost KSh 41,523 for the United States government.
In a report by CNN, the company’s CEO Daniel O’Day announced on Monday, June 29, that patients will require six vials for a complete dosage of five days.
Already the US government had secured nearly all of the company’s supply of the drug for use in U.S. hospitals through September, with a contract for 500,000 treatment courses, which it will make available to hospitals at Gilead’s price.
Other developed countries will pay 25% less than the United States, a discount Gilead said reflects a need to make the drug as widely available as possible throughout the world.
The company has also licensed generic manufacturers to produce the drug for developing countries, which will receive the treatment at a substantially lower cost.
A clinical trial that was sponsored by the US government showed the drug sped up recovery of patients by four days.
Cutting four days of hospital costs for each patient could save the U.S. health system KSh 1,278,480 per patient.
The drug was developed over 10 years ago when the company was searching for treatments for hepatitis C but did not develop it.
Later, the drug’s potential as an antiviral for emerging diseases was explored through a partnership with the government.
However, the company maintains it can only be used as antiviral and not an ultimate cure for COVID-19.