The Cost-Effectiveness of Remdesivir for Hospitalized Patients With COVID-19



This study aimed to estimate the cost-effectiveness of remdesivir, the first novel therapeutic to receive Emergency Use Authorization for the treatment of hospitalized patients with COVID-19, and identify key drivers of value to guide future pricing and reimbursement efforts.


A Markov model evaluated the cost-effectiveness of remdesivir in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 from a US healthcare sector perspective. A lifetime time horizon captured potential long-term costs and outcomes. Model outcomes included discounted total costs, life-years, and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). Remdesivir was modeled as an addition to standard of care and compared with standard of care alone, including dexamethasone for patients requiring respiratory support. COVID-19 hospitalizations were assumed to be reimbursed through a single payment based on the respiratory support received alongside a remdesivir carveout payment in the base case. Sensitivity and scenario analyses identified key drivers.


At a unit price of $520 per vial and assuming no survival benefit with remdesivir, the incremental cost-effectiveness was $298 200/QALY for patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 and $1 847 000/QALY for patients with mild COVID-19. Although current data do not support a survival benefit, if one was assumed, the cost-effectiveness estimate was $50 100/QALY for the moderate to severe population and $103 400/QALY for the mild population. Another key driver included the hospitalization payment structure (per diem vs bundled payment).


With the current evidence available, remdesivir’s price is too high to align with its expected health gains for hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Results from this study provide a rationale for iterative health technology assessment.


Melanie D. Whittington Steven D. Pearson David M. Rind Jonathan D. Campbell

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