Merck is charging the U.S. government $712 for a potentially revolutionary COVID-19 antiviral. However, it only costs Merck $17.74 to produce the durg, meaning Merck is selling at a roughly 40 times mark-up.
Merck acquired the rights to the drug – molnupiravir – from Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, which licensed it from Emory University.
Molnupiravir was developed with US federal government funding on two months prior.
A five-day course of molnupiravir, the new medicine being hailed as a “huge advance” in the treatment of Covid-19, costs $17.74 to produce, according to a report issued last week by drug pricing experts at the Harvard School of Public Health and King’s College Hospital in London. Merck is charging the U.S. government $712 for the same amount of medicine, or 40 times the price.