(WASHINGTON, D.C.)Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD) today joined Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) in urging Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day to detail the company’s plans for remdesivir, including securing and scaling up the supply chain, complete disclosures of taxpayer investment in the development of the drug, and purchase and pricing arrangements. As remdesivir—which has been developed with significant taxpayer investment—receives FDA emergency use authorization, the lawmakers questioned its affordability and accessibility for patients.

“American taxpayers have made a big investment in remdesivir, but now in return, those who need treatment may get only a big bill while Gilead gets a big payoff,” said Congressman Doggett. “Without direct public investment and tax subsidies, this drug would apparently have remained in the scrapheap of unsuccessful drugs. Even on its planned donation of the existing remdesivir supply, it will likely receive a tax deduction of up to twice the cost of production.” He continued: “In pricing remdesivir for the desperate, both the amounts of that production cost and the taxpayer investment should be fully disclosed and factored into pricing decisions. After years of maximizing monopoly profits on HIV and Hepatitis C drugs, Gilead owes taxpayers fair treatment and a reasonable return on their remdesivir investment.”  

The Members wrote, “We are particularly concerned about the affordability of this treatment both because taxpayer investment made the difference and because of Gilead’s troubling history including attempted misuse of orphan drug status for remdesivir, Sovaldi priced beyond the reach of some public health programs and many Hepatitis-C victims, and delay of a safer HIV drug in order to maximize monopoly profits on Truvada.”

They continue: “We write to better understand (1) how Gilead will secure the remdesivir supply chain, (2) what purchase and pricing arrangements Gilead is making for future supplies of remdesivir, and (3) how much public money has been invested in remdesivir’s development.”

You can read today’s letter here.