BusinessDay
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Covid-19 drug, Remdesivir to cost N1m per treatment says manufacturer

Days after the world registered ten million confirmed cases of coronavirus and it emerged that the test positivity rate in the commercial capital of Lagos was a high of 27 percent, the global drug maker, Gilead Sciences said it will charge the U.S. government and other developed countries $390 per vial for its coronavirus-fighting drug remdesivir.

At that rate, it will cost about $2,340 or N980,440 for a typical five-day course of treatment.

The company has not yet said how much it would charge governments in less advanced countries like Nigeria for the drug which has won acclaimed from health officials but is yet to gain final approval for commercial sale.

Remdesivir is one of the first widely used drugs for Covid-19. It received an emergency use authorization from U.S. regulators in May, after a trial found the medicine hastened recovery by about four days in hospitalized patients. It is currently being used on compassionate grounds in the US and some other countries.

The makers say it is capable of reducing hospitalization by four days but access to it will still be controlled by the US government until supply is less constrained.

Deaths from the virus surpassed 500,000 worldwide and confirmed cases exceeded 10 million as the World Health Organization reported the most infections for a single day.

In Nigeria where no more than 130,000 coronavirus tests have been concluded, there are now 24,567 confirmed cases. This indicates a test positivity rate of 19%. But this rate is at 27.1% in the epicenter of Lagos
New clusters around the world indicate that the pandemic is far from over.

The infection is spreading aggressively in Africa’s most populous country and doctors are warning that peak infection could still be four to six weeks away.

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