Minimum Costs to Manufacture New Treatments for COVID-19.

The value of innovative medicines has absolutely nothing to do with its cost of production. Or, does it?

Concurrent to the global race for a vaccine, there is a massive on-going effort on examining 'repurposed' drugs in hopes they might be effective in treating COVID-19. And should these repurposed drugs demonstrate efficacy, they can be manufactured profitably at very low costs, for much less than current list prices.

In fact, medicines to treat COVID-19 are actually not at all expensive to produce. A recent article via @viruseradicate claims existing drugs with the potential to treat coronavirus could be produced and sold at a profit by pharmaceutical companies for $1 a day, or less. Medicines under clinical research for COVID-19 could be manufactured from $0.30 to $31 a course.

Manufacturing costs were estimated for nine drugs considered to be leading candidates for the treatment of Covid-19. The paper estimated minimum costs of production by considering the costs of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) exported out of India. On top of that, a profit margin of 10% and Indian taxation of 27% on profit were added.

If these drugs do show promise, there is a potential to massively scale up production and provide low-cost generic supplies worldwide. Medicines to treat COVID-19 could be made en masse. 

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