Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and several other Democratic lawmakers are pushing back against President Donald Trump’s administration for its “windfall” deal with Gilead Sciences to acquire the vast majority of the pharmaceutical company’s supply of the drug Remdesivir.
In the letter addressed to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Democratic lawmakers noted multiple concerns about the deal, which will give Gilead up to $500 million for the antiviral drug.
Citing the $70 million in taxpayer dollars spent to develop and test the drug, the lawmakers are arguing that the deal is “bad for taxpayers, terrible for public health, and unethical.”
“Outside analysts have concluded that ‘The deal is amazingly good for Gilead’s executives and shareholders and amazingly bad for everyone else — bad for taxpayers, terrible for public health, and unethical,’” the lawmakers wrote.
The Democratic lawmakers are requesting some form of an outline detailing the steps Trump’s administration has taken to ensure the drug supply.
The letter continued, “We are therefore requesting information from the Department to help us better understand why President Trump — or whichever Administration officials were responsible — would strike such an expensive deal, and what steps the Administration is taking to ensure sufficient supply of the drug.”
See the full letter below:
The Democrats’ letter comes just weeks after it was reported that the White House had reached a deal with Gilead Sciences for its drug Remdesivir as a form of treatment.
Under the new deal, Gilead will provide more than 500,000 treatment courses of Remdesivir for United States hospitals nationwide through the month of September. The treatment courses account for Gilead’s full projected production line of the anti-viral drug for July, and 90% for August and September.
Democratic lawmakers are also raising questions about the drug’s price tags.
The company also set prices for the drug indicated that it would cost $2,340 per COVID-19 patient for “Medicare and governments of developed countries” and $3,120 for patients with private insurance, as previously reported on IJR.
As of Thursday afternoon, there are more than 3.6 million known coronavirus cases in the United States.