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Merck Charging US 40 Times What It Costs To Make Govt-Financed COVID Pill

Tyler Durden
October 7th, 2021
ZeroHedge
Comments (9)

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

Molnupiravir pill from Merck. Photo: Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.

Merck’s new ‘not Ivermectin’ Covid-19 treatment, molnupiravir, costs $17.74 to produce – yet the company is charging the US government $712 for the treatment – a 40x markup, according to The Intercept, citing a report issued last week by the Harvard School of Public Health and King’s College Hospital in London.

The pill, originally developed using US government funds as a possible treatment for Venezuelan equine encephalitis, cut the risk of hospitalization and death in half in a randomized trial of 775 adults with mild/moderate Covid who were considered at high risk for disease due to comorbidities such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The trial was stopped early so the company could apply for an emergency use authorization (EUA). The drug did not benefit patients who were already hospitalized with severe disease.

News of the oral ‘wonder drug’ sent shares of Merck higher last week, as the company says it can deliver 10MM doses by the end of the year.

Clearly, the pill could bring in massive profits to Merck and its partner on the drug, Ridgeback Biotherapeutics – which licensed the drug from Emory University in 2020 and then sold the worldwide rights to the drug to Merck for a sum that has not been disclosed.

Meanwhile, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, a division of the Department of Defense, funded the development of the drug by Emory University to the tune of $10 million between 2013 and 2015, according to nonprofit group Knowledge Ecology International discovered.

Yet, as Quartz points out, only Merck and Ridgeback will profit from the new antiviral – which they say “could be one of the most lucrative drugs ever,” bringing in as much as $7 billion by the end of this year alone.

Despite its initial investment, the U.S. government seems to be facing a steep markup in prices. In June, the government signed a $1.2 billion contract with Merck to supply 1.7 million courses of the medication at the $712 price. The transaction is due to take place as soon as molnupiravir receives emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.

Good government advocates are pointing out that because federal agencies spent at least $29 million on the drug’s development, the government has the obligation to ensure that the medicine is affordable. “The public funded this drug, and therefore the public has some rights, including the rights you have it available under reasonable terms,” said Luis Gil Abinader, senior researcher at Knowledge Ecology International. -The Intercept

Pushing back

Ridgeback co-founder Wendy Holman told CNBC in an interview last week that they asked for, but “never got government funding” for the manufacture of molnupiravir. The company also claimed in a press release touting the study that “since licensed by Ridgeback, all funds used for the development of molnupiravir have been provided by Merck and by Wayne and Wendy Holman of Ridgeback.”

Critics, meanwhile, say the $700+ price point is absurd – with health advocates concerned that people in some countries will not be able to afford the new drug.

“Offering someone a $700 treatment when they don’t yet feel that ill is going to mean that a lot of people are not going to take it,” said King’s College Hospital physician Dzintars Gotham, co-author of the report – which suggests that Merck would still reap a 10% profit margin if they priced molnupiravir at $19.99.

“If you can’t afford medicine because it’s 1,000 times more than you can afford, or because it’s 100 times more than you can afford, it doesn’t matter,” said Melissa Barber, a doctoral candidate at the Harvard School of Public Health and co-author of the report on molnupiravir, adding “those are both bad.”

Barber and Gotham acknowledge that the $17.74 cost of producing a five-day course of the antiviral pills is an estimate but said that the algorithm they used, and have employed to estimate the production costs for hundreds of drugs, tends to result in overestimates in the long run.

Meanwhile, the prices that private companies charge for drugs tend to go up rather than down. “For all these deals that have happened for therapeutics or vaccines, the price has only increased as uncertainty has decreased,” she said. “One price is given and then, for the next sale, the price goes up. The price went up for other drugs and vaccines, so I would be very surprised if this price didn’t go up, too.” -The Intercept

If only there were another option for mild-moderate Covid-19 cases that was inexpensive and used around the world for decades with an extremely positive drug safety profile.

We’re just going to leave this here (as we noted last month):

Widely prescribed anti-parasitic Ivermectin (also made by Merck) has shown massive efficacy worldwide in the treatment of mild and moderate cases of Covid-19, plus as a prophylactic. India’s Uttar Pradesh province, with a population of over 200 million, says that widespread early use of Ivermectin ‘helped keep positivity [and] deaths low.’

(source, May 12th)

Separately, there have been several studies funded by the Indian government, primarily conducted through their largest govt. public medical university (AIIMS).

  • Role of ivermectin in the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection among healthcare workers in India: A matched case-control study (source)

Conclusion: Two-dose ivermectin prophylaxis at a dose of 300 μg/kg with a gap of 72 hours was associated with a 73% reduction of SARS-CoV-2 infection among healthcare workers for the following month.

  • Ivermectin as a potential treatment for mild to moderate COVID-19 – A double blind randomized placebo-controlled trial (source)

Conclusion: There was no difference in the primary outcome i.e. negative RT-PCR status on day 6 of admission with the use of ivermectin. However, a significantly higher proportion of patients were discharged alive from the hospital when they received ivermectin.

  • Clinical Research Report Ivermectin in combination with doxycycline for treating COVID-19 symptoms: a randomized trial (source, double-blind randomized, peer-reviewed)

Discussion: In the present study, patients with mild or moderate COVID-19 infection treated with ivermectin in combination with doxycycline generally recovered 2 days earlier than those treated with placebo. The proportion of patients responding within 7 days of treatment was significantly higher in the treatment group than in the placebo group. The proportions of patients who remained symptomatic after 12 days of illness and who experienced disease progression were significantly lower in the treatment group than in the placebo group.

Here are more human studies from other countries on the ‘horse dewormer’:
Peru:
  • Sharp Reductions in COVID-19 Case Fatalities and Excess Deaths in Peru in Close Time Conjunction, State-By-State, with Ivermectin Treatments (source, peer-reviewed, University of Toronto, Universidad EAFIT)

For the 24 states with early IVM treatment (and Lima), excess deaths dropped 59% (25%) at +30 days and 75% (25%) at +45 days after day of peak deaths. Case fatalities likewise dropped sharply in all states but Lima

Spain:
  • The effect of early treatment with ivermectin on viral load, symptoms and humoral response in patients with non-severe COVID-19: A pilot, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial (sourceUniversity of Barcelona, peer-reviewed)

FindingsPatients in the ivermectin group recovered earlier from hyposmia/anosmia (76 vs 158 patient-days; p < 0.001).

Bangladesh:

  • A Comparative Study on Ivermectin-Doxycycline and Hydroxychloroquine-Azithromycin Therapy on COVID-19 Patients (source – peer-reviewed, though not govt funded)

Conclusion: According  to  our  study,  the  Ivermectin-Doxycycline combination therapy has better symptomatic relief, shortened recovery duration, fewer adverse effects, and superior patient compliance compared to the Hydroxychloroquine-Azithromycin combination. Based on this  study’s  outcomes,  the  Ivermectin-Doxycycline  combination  is  a  superior  choice  for  treating  patients  with  mild to moderate COVID-19 disease.

  • A five-day course of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19 may reduce the duration of illness (source, peer-reviewed double blind randomized, though small sample size)

DiscussionA 5-day course of ivermectin resulted in an earlier clearance of the virus compared to placebo (p = 0.005), thus indicating that early intervention with this agent may limit viral replication within the host. In the 5-day ivermectin group, there was a significant drop in CRP and LDH by day 7, which are indicators of disease severity.

Meanwhile, There are currently 76 ongoing or completed clinical trials on Ivermectin around the world. Below are the results of 32 which have been completed. One can visit ivermeta.com and dig down on any of these / read the entire study. The site recommends Ivermectin in conjunction with vaccines to confer the best protection against Covid-19, however we’ll leave that to you and your doctor to discuss.

Screenshot, http://ivermeta.com/

Perhaps those who can’t pony up $700 will seek other options.

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    Author: Tyler Durden
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    Date: October 7th, 2021
    Website: https://www.zerohedge.com/

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    9 Comments...

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    1. Anonymous says:

      I wonder what the time frame of testing and approval will be for this new high profit Covid drug will be compared with all that seems to be needed -demanded- to get Ivermectin approved for use treating Covid?

      Surely, the same standards will be applied. It’s for the public safety, after all (and it’s a horse medicine to start with).

    2. Apache says:

      This does the same thing as Ivermectin, but they don’t want the public to know that. They ALL need to be in prison for crimes against humanity!

    3. Bill says:

      That’s great, not only are we subsidizing our own demise, we’re paying extortion rates to do it. Corporations can get away with this practice for two reasons, one is officialdom allows it, and the other is they know many people will pay any price for anything.
      We are taught prices are set by supply and demand, this is true, but there are other factors that set prices too, like rapacious greed. Remember when contractors were charging the DoD hundreds of dollars for a toilet seat, or 50 to 100 dollars per gallon of fuel, and on and on and on.
      There are also medical regimens that can greatly benefit sufferers of a variety of diseases but are so expensive that even insurance companies won’t pay for them. An example is a drug for hepatitis C that can cost almost a 100,000 dollars per patient taking one tablet per day for approx. 12 weeks manufactured by a prominent Amer. pharmaceutical company versus an equally effective drug manufactured by an Egyptian pharmaceutical company that costs about 300 dollars for the same regimen. There are also some advanced cancer treatments that are based uniquely on the patient and incredibly successful, but the cost is so high only the very very wealthy can afford it.
      It’s not by accident the general health industry far more promotes treatments, hospitalization, pharmaceuticals, etc. than healthy life styles and preventative medicine. There’s more money in it that way.
      Of course businesses are entitled to make a profit, even generous profits, by why are these other business models allowed to exist in the US.

    4. Andrea.Iravani. says:

      _ _   ._    _._ _    _..   ._    _._ _            … _ _ _ …

      _ _ _ _.  ._ _ _ _   ._ _ _ _    

      911 911 911 911911 911 911 911911 911 911 911 911 911 911

      The Surveillance State Has Proven to Exist for the Purpose of Committing and Concealing its Own Crimes. All that Anyone Needs to Do is Take a Look at this Country for Total Proof.

      Everyone in the government, and Trump have Munchausen Syndrome and are pretending that people have diseases that they do not have and that there is a medical emergency when the medical emergency is actually that everyone in the Medical Community has Munchausen Syndrome and are cold-blooded, mass murderers falsely diagnosing people and treating people on false grounds. These monsters are murderers. No sane person would prefer a Republican Murderer to a Democratic Murderer or vice versa! Everyone in government has turned into Ted Bundy, and everyone in the medical community has turned into Joseph Mengele, and everyone in the media has turned into Josef Goebbells.

      Every elected person in government has been disqualified from running in the 2022 election and future elections, and Trump and Hillary are also disqualified because they are in legal terms, insurrectionists, since they have revolted against the civil authority of the United States constitution and violated every constitutional right in existence, which they have done openly. The 14th amendment disqualifies all of them from running for office.

      They do not get to make the rules, because the rules have already been made, and the rules are the United States Constitution. They are not a government. They are insurrectionists. They are serial criminal psychopaths that belong in prison. They are guilty of high crimes and treason. 

      People should stop pretending that they are not murderers with Munchausen Syndrome!  It only encourages them! Whoever wrote  or broadcasted pro government pro-politican, or official covid narrative articles over covid19 are an accessory to murder! It is not the same thing as pretending not to notice the run in someone’s stalking, or ring around their collar out of politeness when they are obviously already self-conscious about it. But these murderers are often so warped that they are the type that would think that it is worse to have a ring around the collar or run in their stocking than to be a murderer, or accessory to murder, but want to be treated as though they merely have a fashion faux pas.

      Society cannot function when the government, medical community, media, and tech sector, and Wall Street have conspired in extrajudicial murder or mass murder and that is exactly what has happened!

      They are control freaks that cannot control their own criminal behavior, and there is a very specific term for that, known as control fraud.

      You belong in a federal pennitentiaries! You are a threat to society! 

      If we let them get away with the cold-blooded, pre-meditated mass murder through Munchausen Syndrome of covid-19, the mythological virus, then they will still be able to continue mass murdering through Munchausen Syndrome in the future. Just because they are not shooting, stabbing, or strangling people does not mean that they are not serial killers, and they are serial killers that control the water supply, prescription drugs, and are moving into controlling the food supply! 

      They all belong in federal pennitentiaries for life! Nobody is safe while they are on the loose! This is not an over-reaction! Wake up retards! 

      All positive covid-19 tests are categorically false for the following reasons:

      1.) Covid-19 has not been isolated. The CDC has confessed that it does not have the genetic sequence to covid-19, or even SARS, for that matter.

      2.) All RT-PCR tests have been contiminated with N1, N2, and N3. N represents the highly prevalent enzyme known as neuraminidaise Neuraminidase is referrenced in influenzas, such as H1N1, H1N2, H1N3, etc. The test makers claim that these are primers, but they are contaminants. You could test distilled water and it could reveal a positive test result.

      3.) RT-PCR tests reverse transcribe RNA into DNA. All corona viruses are RNA viruses and do not contain any DNA what so ever. You cannot claim that you have identified something for what it is by turning it into something that it is not!

      Obviously, there is a diffference between an opinion and a fact, although most people are no longer willing to acknowledge the distinction between the two, because if someone gets the facts wrong, and it is pointed out to them, their feelings are hurt, which is now apparently the worst crime against humanity that anyone can commit.

      The fact that everyone involved has ignored these basic indisputable scientific facts reveals that they are guilty of fraud, racketeering, control fraud, willful misconduct, and/or functional illiteracy.

      It is not enough or the equivalent to say that the CDC admits that the test results are not reliable. That implies that it was unforseeable and was learned in hind sight through discovery, but they are scientifically incapable of producing accurate results for the reasons that I stated, and that constitutes willful misconduct, fraud, mal practice, and/or functional illiteracy. 

      Wake up! This is not a cocktail party! This is serious business! 

      There is no statute of limitations on murder, attempted murder, or accessory to murder!

      Andrea Iravani

      P.S.
      That goes for Hillary too, who has been pushing and probably racketeering and profiteering from the scamdemic through the Clinton Foundation.

      stop hacking, start packing, move to China, make stuff for me, and ship it to me! You do not deserve to live in this country! You are a sick as hell obsessed psychopath! You have outdone Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction! Go to hell! Hacking does not require intelligence, skill, or talent! It is a subversive act of property destruction! Any rodent is capable of destroying property! Not impressed with your humanized mouse mentality and behavior! Loser! I would not be surprised if you were also the sick loser that decapitated a rabbit and placed the head on my property a few years ago! How can you be such a useless, worthless waste that hacking my comments is even a goal of yours?! You are totally deranged! Shows what an insignificant, cowardly moron you are! Too chicken shit to target someone that is actually in any position of power! Because you know that it is completely illegal and you fear that they would retaliate and throw you in prison where you belong! Jack ass! 

    5. Andrea.Iravani. says:

      I live in a Potemkin village called Grafton, Wisconsin. I have lived here for over twenty years. Several years ago, spooks infested the neighborhood. It is a middle class neighborhood and almost nobody in the neighborhood has a job. It did not used to be this way. They are an organized crime ring and terrorist network of spies. It is the strangest thing. They are involved in organized community stalking of me. The fact that these losers have somehow chosen to have their lives revolve around mine is insane. They act like a school of piranhas.

      There are only four households in the neighborhood that have lived here longer than I have, and only by a few months. They also started doing this several years ago.

      What they have done to me was apparently a murder plot that failed when they hacked my phone in 2017 and I did not go to Bayshore Apple Store since it is in Bayshore Mall and is an abduction capital, and now they are trying to get me to commit suicide, because they know that I am evidence of their organized crime spree and crime ring.

      James Brunnquell is the village president and does not work any hours at all in the village and is a full time mgr. at Froedert Hospital. They are likely involved in black market organ sales, identity theft, and property theft with all of the local hospitals and governments involved, in addition to the Jewish community center that has been involved in migrating Jews from around the world and the Wisconsin division of the FBI. Something similar took place in New Jersey involving 45 government employees, 3 mayors, and 5 Rabbis in 2011 and was reported by the NYT. The FBI busted them. I guess that the FBI was only pisssed that they weren’t getting a slice of the action though. Think of how much money this whole thing has ended up costing the government! It has been going on for years! I guess that when I did not commit suicide by June of 2017, they thought that they would hack my phone to murder me at the mall. The fact that Black Cube pays hundreds of thousands of dollars to hackers to hack a single phone gives the appearance that it is for those purposes. I believe that Black Cube is also involved. I suspect that Black Cube and or the government were and are paying this commmunity that has turned into white trash to do this to me. One of the neighbors is an Israeli, and one was brought over by the Jewish Community Center prior to moving to this neighborhood. I believe that Florida Senator Rick Scott who was the previous owner of Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital, and the other Columbia Hospitals in Wisconsin, and Ron Johnson who is on the senate “intelligence” committee are also involved in this evil organized crime ring. I also believe that Veterans Intelligence Professionals for Sanity is also involved, and Cambridge Analytica and Facebook because it kept hiding apps behind other apps on my phone, even though I deleted all Facebook owned apps when I got my phones. Someone even hired a Russian musician named Einnfalt to write a song about me, Exhibit C God’s Will for Andrea Iravani, and I think that it was probably VIPS that was behind it. Many in the alternative media are also involved. All of the individuals invokved have Munchausen Syndrome. They are trying to create the impression that I am insane in their gas-lighting and organized communuty surveillance of me. They are murderers and accessories to murder. The tactics that they have used on me are completely illegal and violate my constitutional rights. They are serial criminal psychopaths. Of course criminals always want to convince people that their victims are either crazy or are lying. That is not anything new. It is typical.

      Wake up! This is not a cocktail party! 

      There is no statute of limitations on murder, attempted murder, or accessory to murder!

      Andrea Iravani

    6. Andrea.Iravani. says:

      This once again proves my hypothesis that the covidian cultists should try an experiment on themselves and use hand grenade suppositories to eradicate the mythological virus covid-19, and it would disappear as magically as it appeared. If they used hand grenade suppositories on themselves, everyone else would benefit through heard immunity.

      They are engaging in control fraud and murder through Munchausen Syndrome. They must be in prison. Society is obviously incapable of functioning with these homicidal maniacs on the loose. They will just move from fraud scheme to fraud scheme. Now they are all on the bandwagon for m-RNA malaria vaccines, even though one of them is only 30% effective if other typical measures including bed nets and ivermectin are used!

      This is mass murder and treasury raiding on an unprecedented scale.

      It may as well be magic crystals. It least they are pretty and don’t harm people, but the cheap mother fuckers don’t want to spend the money to even give magical crystals, even if they were plastic, it is just too expensive for them.

      Andrea Iravani

    7. Andrea.Iravani. says:

      This once again proves my hypothesis that the covidian cultists should try an experiment on themselves and use hand grenade suppositories to eradicate the mythological virus covid-19, and it would disappear as magically as it appeared. If they used hand grenade suppositories on themselves, everyone else would benefit through heard immunity.

      They are engaging in control fraud and murder through Munchausen Syndrome. They must be in prison. Society is obviously incapable of functioning with these homicidal maniacs on the loose. They will just move from fraud scheme to fraud scheme. Now they are all on the bandwagon for m-RNA malaria vaccines, even though one of them is only 30% effective if other typical measures including bed nets and ivermectin are used with it!

      This is mass murder and treasury raiding on an unprecedented scale. 

      It may as well be magic crystals. It least they are pretty and don’t harm people, but the cheap mother fuckers don’t want to spend the money to even give magical crystals, even if they were plastic, it is just too expensive for them.

      Andrea Iravani

    8. CA Rebel says:

      That’s why the scamdemic must continue, $$$$$$.

    9. Andrea.Iravani. says:

      I am still waiting for the people in the surveillance state, medical mafia, media, governments, and my neighborhood to confess for their sick, evil, cold-blooded, pre-meditated, sadistic, cowardly, serial criminal, psychopathic organized crime spree that they have perpetrated against me. Just post your confessions on this website non-anonymously. Don’t expect me to be stupid enough to fall for any crap that you can’t because of an NDA either! All criminal activity is exempt from all NDAs! Luckily for me, I am intellectually superior to all of you!

      Andrea Iravani

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