Aug. 6, 2020
Attorneys General from 34 states, including Kwame Raoul of Illinois, are asking the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use their legal authority to increase the availability of remdesivir, which has shown promising results in reducing mortality and hospitalizations from COVID-19.
“COVID-19 has claimed thousands of lives in Illinois and tens of thousands of lives across the nation. Remdesivir has shown promising results in treating those hospitalized due to COVID-19, and no one should be denied access to treatment due to the cost of the drug” Raoul said. “I urge the federal government to use its authority to ensure that this potentially lifesaving drug is available and affordable for all who need it.”
In a letter to the federal agencies, the attorneys general urge the federal government to exercise its rights under the Bayh-Dole Act, which allows the NIH and FDA to ensure Americans can afford and have reasonable access to a sufficient supply of remdesivir during the pandemic. The attorneys general note that despite a manufacturing cost of between $1 and $5, Gilead has set the price of the drug at $3,200 per treatment course.