If you are hospitalized with coronavirus, you may not be billed for a treatment that will likely shorten the amount of time you spend in the hospital.
During a Tuesday appearance on Fox Business’ “Mornings with Maria,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said patients are “unlikely” to foot the bill for remdesivir.
“The patient is very unlikely to bear the cost of this, given that it is an in-patient drug," Azar said. "You're in the hospital, the hospital is getting a payment for your in-patient visit. They buy that drug and supply that to you out of their pocket, and if it delivers this one-third shorter hospital stay that is shown in the data, then that might actually be a beneficial financial move for the hospitals."
On Monday, Gilead Sciences, which created the drug, announced what the drug will cost once it begins charging for the treatment. Gilead will charge hospitals $3,120 per patient with private insurance. If a patient has a government-backed insurance plan, the drug will cost $2,340. The price covers a 5-day treatment plan.
Azar said it is unlikely patients will get a bill if they are treated with the drug because the government obtained courses of the drug.
In May and June, Gilead donated over 140,000 treatments that the government distributed to states in need.
Azar said President Donald Trump secured half a million courses of remdesivir for the U.S. to use over the next three months. He said the drug will be given to states to distribute to hospitals in need.
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