The price of medicine to treat Covid-19 can be 40 times the cost

The price of medicine to treat Covid-19 can be 40 times the cost 3

According to a report published last week by drug pricing experts at the Harvard School of Public Health and King’s College Hospital in London, molnupiravir, an oral drug hailed as a `remarkable advance` in treating Covid-

Merck and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics on October 1 announced a late-stage trial report, showing that molnupiravir halved the risk of hospitalization and death in moderate or mild cases of Covid-19.

During Merck’s 29-day trial, none of the 385 patients using the drug molnupiravir died, while eight people in the placebo group died of Covid-19, according to a statement from the US pharmaceutical company.

Covid-19 treatment pill molnupiravir from pharmaceutical company Merck.

Molnupiravir was initially studied by Emory University, Georgia, to treat equine encephalitis in Venezuela.

In March 2020, Emory University sold the rights to the drug molnupiravir to Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, a small company in Miami that has no laboratory or export facility.

In addition to major public health impacts, molnupiravir could bring staggering profits to both Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, predicted to reach $7 billion by the end of the year.

Despite the initial investment for Emory University, the US government seems to be at a disadvantage in the contract to buy the drug molnupiravir.

Some people believe that because the US federal government spent at least $29 million developing molnupiravir, they have the right to buy this drug at an affordable price.

`The budget funded this drug, so the government has a number of rights, including the right to buy it on reasonable terms,` said Luis Gil Abinader, senior researcher at the NGO Knowledge Ecology International.

In an interview on CNBC, Ridgeback co-founder Wendy Holman noted that the company requested but `never received government funding` to produce molnupiravir.

The company’s press release on the study results also noted `since Ridgeback purchased the rights, all funds used to develop molnupiravir have been provided by Merck and Ridgeback`.

Abinader criticized Ridgeback for not acknowledging the government’s initial investment in the project.

In an email response, Ridgeback Biotherapeutics confirmed that it has never received any US government funding for molnupiravir and that the company spent its own money to develop the treatment drug.

Merck is committed to distributing molnupiravir at affordable prices around the world and has signed licensing agreements with five Indian companies to manufacture the drug.

In the US as well as many countries with above-average income or higher, drug prices will be determined by the market.

Drug pricing experts at Harvard School of Public Health and King’s College Hospital in London admit the $17.74 cost to produce a five-day course of molnupiravir is only an estimate, but say the algorithm they use

According to experts, if molnupiravir is sold for 19.99 USD/course, the company can earn a profit of 10%.

The price difference is the basis for the US government to request better prices under the Bayh-Dole Act, said expert Abinader.

`When President Joe Biden’s administration negotiates another agreement with Merck, perhaps they should take advantage of those rights to get better prices,` Abinader said.

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