Pricing New Corona 19 Virus Drugs

Home Forums Decaffeinated Coffee Pricing New Corona 19 Virus Drugs

  • This topic has 5 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 4 years ago by huju.
Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
  • #1855772

    What is a sustainable business model for pricing any or all of these new treatment drugs or vaccines that show efficacy. I’ve heard demands that the drugs should be “free” (does that mean free to the patient but where the government pays the cost for the patient’ Some of the companies pursuing the new drugs have said they will sell the drugs “at cost” (not clear if that cost includes recovery of their R&D costs). Others have said they should be allowed to charge “reasonable” profits to assure that there is a financial incentive to get the cures and therapies to the market asap. This is a classic case of how to balance public health objectives, patent protections, and incentives for the private sector to move as quickly as possible to get new drugs on the markets. This is a different question from pricing of older drugs that have been around for a while and using them off-label for new purposes such as Coavd 19.


    Drugs costs mega millions to develop. That includes the costs for attempting drug solutions that ultimately fail after costing millions to try. That too needs to be recouped when pricing successful drug solutions to cover the costs for previous failed attempts.


    It is unlikely that a “new” drug will be developed in time. Even with lockdowns, most people will already have had Covid19 long before anything “new” is ready for commercial use (a concept sometimes called “herd immunity”). Remember that the figures such as those released last week by Governor Cuomo indicate that perhaps for every one person who tests positive for Coronavirus (and is usually only tested when they have symptoms), between five and ten others have antibodies indicating they already had the disease but didn’t get sick. Once the percentage of people with antibodies reaches a certain point (longer in lockdown areas, faster elsewhere), the need for a drug will decline.

    Since the drug companies are using “old” drugs already approved for other purposes, their marginal costs are very low. Remember, the cost of drugs is not the actual manufacture, but the research to develop it. They already did all the development work and research and testing, and the drug has proven “safe” already (and effective for some purpose, not necessarily for Coronaviruses). The companies will anxiously offer drugs to doctors for free in the hopes that the drug will work against Coronaviruses, thereby enabling the company to start charging outrageous prices for the drug. Under existing law, the companies aren’t allowed to sell (especially at outrageous prices) a drug if they are promoting it for a use for which it has not been established as being “effective”.


    Akuperma, you seem to be assuming that the presence of antibodies confers immunity. There seems to be some doubt about this.


    Antibodies does demonstrate the person had the disease, so it does show that if you get the Coronavirus, the odds at 10-1 you will not get seriously ill (meaning the estimates of death rates is needs to be divided by a factor of 10). The most recent news is they decided that having antibodies makes you likely to be a false positive, which sounds reasonable. The drug companies challenge is to get a drug in use while demand is high, and mindful of the illegality of them “pushing” a drug’s unapproved use (e.g. they can sell you a drug if it is approved for something, but they can’t suggest using it for something other than what the government has approved it for).


    akuperma you interchanged the words “seriously ill” and defined it by the death rates.
    You can get seriously ill and not die. You can be a young person and get the covid toe from all the blood clotting. You get a heart attack and stroke.
    But even more worrisome, you can be seriously ill and not die. And you can lay on your stomach for 3 weeks with trouble breathing, which feels serious enough to me.

    This is too basic.


    Several of the drug companies are so confident that their new products will show efficacy and be approved by the FDA, they are spending tens of millions of dollars to ramp up production NOW in anticipation of approval later this year or early next year. Hopefully, they will produce those drugs here in the U.S. so as to minimize the risk of foreign countries seeking to restrict exports back to the U.S. until their own domestic needs had been filled.


    Dear Akuperma,
    We do not have herd immunity for the flu, even though we have been exposed to influenza pandemics for over 500 years. The leading drug for covid is remdesivir. It was designed for Ebola, and proved safe but ineffective. So, the cost of the drug was never covered. Any old drug that gets approved, will be after a very expensive study on it’s effect on coronaviruses. The demand will drive up the price even it turns out to be penicillin. Hydroxychloroquine has seen a major increase and decrease already.


    The expected market for a COVID-19 vaccine is about 8 Billion people. A very low price should cover the currently-expected cost of development.

    The Torah has a lot to say about pricing. My limited knowledge says that pricing should be lower than price-gouging.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.