Jump to content
BANGKOK
snoop1130

Coronavirus drug hopefuls are cheap to make but may be in short supply

Recommended Posts

Coronavirus drug hopefuls are cheap to make but may be in short supply

By John Miller

 

jhtyj.PNG

FILE PHOTO: A pharmacist selects drugs inside her pharmacy in Bordeaux, France, September 15, 2015. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

 

ZURICH (Reuters) - Drugs being re-purposed in hopes they will help against COVID-19 cost little to make but may prove challenging to produce in quantities needed for a pandemic, a drug pricing expert said.

 

“Any pharmaceutical company manufacturing any treatment currently in clinical trials against coronavirus needs a clear plan to upscale production massively,” Andrew Hill, a University of Liverpool research fellow, told Reuters.

 

“Otherwise, supplies of these drugs could quickly run out.” 

 

In a study released Friday in the Journal of Virus Eradication, Hill and five other researchers, including Howard University chemist Joseph Fortunak, examined the cost of manufacturing medicines in recent or ongoing COVID-19 trials.

 

Using prices for active pharmaceutical ingredients to build estimates, they said Gilead Science’s (GILD.O) experimental drug remdesivir, originally for Ebola, could be made for as little as $0.93 for a day’s supply.

 

Gilead said the figure does not “accurately reflect” manufacturing costs at scale, but did not give those costs.

 

Fujifilm Holdings Corp’s (4901.T) flu drug Avigan runs $1.45 to make per day, the researchers said. Fujifilm did not immediately comment.

 

Meanwhile, decades-old malaria medicine hydroxychloroquine - touted by President Donald Trump and others as a possible game changer despite no scientific proof it works - costs 8 cents.

 

Other drugs the researchers examined included the related malaria medicine, chloroquine, the antibiotic azithromycin, Roche’s (ROG.S) lung drug Esbriet and arthritis treatment Actemra, as well as an AbbVie (ABBV.N) HIV drug and a Hepatitis C cocktail.

 

“Should repurposed drugs demonstrate efficacy against COVID-19, they could be manufactured profitably at very low costs,” the authors wrote, giving range of between $1 and $29 per course of treatment.

 

Nonetheless, demand for medicines that prove their mettle could swiftly outstrip supply, necessitating new industry alliances, parallel manufacturing by multiple companies, and shared intellectual property, Hill said.

 

“The demands could be huge, and could lead to shortages for people normally taking these drugs for other diseases,” he added.

 

Roche, which received $25 million in U.S. funding for Actemra’s COVID-19 trial, did not respond to questions about boosting production.

 

For Fujifilm’s Avigan, Japan provided some $128 million to boost supplies to treat 2 million people, as triple the dose is required for COVID-19 than for influenza.

 

Gilead can produce 140,000 remdesivir treatment courses near-term, and 1 million-plus by December, it has projected.

 

Sanofi can make millions of hydroxychloroquine doses, but whether that suffices may depend on if trials show it should be used for potentially millions of mildly affected patients, or for only severe ICU patients, Chief Executive Paul Hudson told Reuters last week.

 

Sanofi has boosted production of hydroxychloroquine by 50% across its eight manufacturing sites worldwide and said Friday it would donate 100 million doses to 50 countries, while Novartis (NOVN.S) has pledged 130 million doses and said it is hunting for more ingredients, should trials show the medicine works.

 

So far, some doctors including in China say results have been inconclusive.

 

reuters_logo.jpg

-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-04-10
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, snoop1130 said:

Coronavirus drug hopefuls are cheap to make but may be in short supply

They can make the meds  Very cheap But they have to make Billions of $ Profit  . That's why  they Won't sell them cheap . Greedy Meds factories .

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be fair, a lot of the billions get poured back into basic research - with a view of making billions more.

 

I have no ties to the pharma industry, just saying there's usually 2 sides to a coin.. unless it's a monopoly on the only drug which can cure Covid, which none of them seem to have (yet).

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Siamjim said:

hydroxychloroquine - touted by President Donald Trump and others as a possible game changer despite no scientific proof it works

 

however doctors prescribe hydroxychloroquine to patients and family with great results. If President Xi had touted this the media would praised him and China, as they have.

Brilliant your absolutely right! I suppose if I was ready to s--t  the bed I'd tell my docto,r go for it.

But to be honest ,I want  that antibody test,when they come out with it! The thought of having to sit tight for possibly 18 months(other medical problems) for a vaccine  s--ks! 

Edited by riclag

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, JohnTJ said:

To be fair, a lot of the billions get poured back into basic research - with a view of making billions more.

 

I have no ties to the pharma industry, just saying there's usually 2 sides to a coin.. unless it's a monopoly on the only drug which can cure Covid, which none of them seem to have (yet).

 

 

Agreed.... that’s the whole purpose of Intellectual Property rights... the company which pays the big money to do the research gets the financial rewards. 

 

As morally reprehensible as this seems without the profits the Pharma research would be slower, pioneering medication would be decades behind their current levels. 

 

Loathe them or hate them slightly, Big Pharma with their billions to spend on research and billions to make in profit are a necessary evil. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, JohnTJ said:

To be fair, a lot of the billions get poured back into basic research - with a view of making billions more.

 

I have no ties to the pharma industry, just saying there's usually 2 sides to a coin.. unless it's a monopoly on the only drug which can cure Covid, which none of them seem to have (yet).

 

and for every drug they develop that gets approvel and makes billions, there are dozens of others they spent millions on researching and testing only to fail.

 

we consumers tend to notice only the lottery winners.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, ChouDoufu said:

and for every drug they develop that gets approvel and makes billions, there are dozens of others they spent millions on researching and testing only to fail.

 

we consumers tend to notice only the lottery winners.

Schumpeter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...