With the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world topping 13 million and the test positivity rate in Lagos standing at about 30%, Gilead Services, the makers of COVID-19 drug, Remdesivir has said it will charge the U.S. government and other developing countries $390 per vial for the drug.
Going by the current exchange rate, Remdesivir will cost about $2,340 or N912,600 for a five-day course of treatment.
The company is yet to disclose how much it would charge governments in less advanced countries like Nigeria for the drug which has won acclaim from health officials but is yet to gain final approval for commercial sale.
Remdesivir which is one of the first widely used drugs for Covid-19, received an emergency authorization of use from U.S. regulators in May 2020 after a trial found the medicine hastened recovery by about four days in hospitalized patients.
In the U.S. and some other countries, the drug is currently being used on compassionate grounds.
Gilead Services say Remdesivir is capable of reducing hospitalization by four days, however, access to it will still be controlled by the US government until supply is less constrained.
Deaths from COVID-19 has surpassed 550,000 worldwide, while confirmed cases have exceeded 13 million based on a report by the World Health Organization.
In Nigeria, over 150,000 coronavirus tests have been conducted, with 32,558 confirmed cases. This indicates a test positivity rate of about 20%.
With the new clusters of infections around the world, health bodies believe the pandemic is far from being over.
With the infection spreading aggressively in Nigeria, doctors and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 warn that the peak of infection could still be four to five weeks away.