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The prices charged for several medicines used to treat people with mild-to-moderate Covid-19 — including pills from Pfizer (PFE) and Merck (MRK) — are reasonably priced based on the value they offer patients, according to a preliminary assessment.

In each case, the different therapies met cost-effectiveness thresholds and averted hospitalization costs for Covid-19 patients who are at a high risk of developing a severe form of the coronavirus. Other potential benefits include helping to stop the spread of the coronavirus and easing the severe overcrowding at hospitals, although these are not as easily quantified.


“The outcome looks like fair pricing. In a sense, we’re in a good place despite the uncertainty we have,” said Steve Pearson, who heads the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, a nonprofit that regularly assesses the cost-effectiveness of medicines and evaluated the Covid-19 medicines. “To the best of our ability, we would say these drugs are fairly priced for the benefits we can perceive.”

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