Daniel O'Day, Gilead CEO (Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A new study points to $6.5B in pub­lic sup­port build­ing the sci­en­tif­ic foun­da­tion of Gilead­'s remde­sivir. Should that be re­flect­ed in the price?

By drug R&D stan­dards, Gilead’s move to re­pur­pose remde­sivir for Covid-19 and grab an emer­gency use au­tho­riza­tion was a re­mark­ably easy, low-cost layup that re­quired mod­est ef­fi­ca­cy and a clean safe­ty pro­file from just a small group of pa­tients.

The drug OK al­so ar­rived af­ter Gilead had paid much of the freight on get­ting it po­si­tioned to move fast.

In a study by Fred Led­ley, di­rec­tor of the Cen­ter for In­te­gra­tion of Sci­ence and In­dus­try at Bent­ley Uni­ver­si­ty in Waltham, MA, re­searchers con­clud­ed that the NIH had in­vest­ed on­ly $46.5 mil­lion in the re­search de­vot­ed to the drug ahead of the pan­dem­ic, a small sum com­pared to the more than $1 bil­lion Gilead ex­pect­ed to spend get­ting it out this year, all on top of what it had al­ready cost in R&D ex­pens­es.

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