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Amid concerns over access to medicines that were hatched with U.S. taxpayer funds, Democratic lawmakers have asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate the discovery and development of remdesivir, which is the first drug authorized to treat Covid-19.

In a letter to the congressional watchdog, the lawmakers argue that the medicine, which is sold by Gilead Sciences (GILD), eventually reached patients thanks, in part, to an estimated $70 million in federal funding and ”key scientific contributions” from U.S. government scientists.


Meanwhile, the U.S. government is expected to spend ”billions of dollars” purchasing remdesivir, which will cost $390 a vial, or $2,340 for a five-day treatment course. In fact, the federal government committed to purchasing most of the available supply through the end of September. Commercially insured patients will be charged more: $520 for a vial, or $3,120 over five days, although one analysis notes that Medicaid and Medicare will also pay the higher rate.

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