Overall, many U.S. hospitals continue to face significant financial pressure from the pandemic as new infections remain high across much of the country.
Medication costs for COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the United States have dropped sharply since May, reflecting advances in treatment, shorter stays and use of cheaper generic drugs.
Research by the health data firm IllumiCare, Inc. and exclusively shared with Reuters found that hospitals spent $1,090 per COVID-19 patient on medication in July. That was down from $3,011 in May among more than 50 hospitals in 10 states that were analyzed.
Several factors drove down the number. The average length of stay for COVID-19 patients declined by nearly 30%, from 9.6 days in April to 6.8 days in July, the hospital data show. And the number of medications used dropped by 22%.
Remdesivir, which helped speed up patients’ recovery in a U.S. trial, won emergency-use authorization in May from U.S. regulators. Gilead donated early doses but has begun charging. It has said the price for commercially insured patients is $3,120 per treatment course and $2,340 for patients on Medicare.