MSF responds to FDA's emergency use authorization for Regeneron’s COVID-19 treatment

Lesbos, COVID-19 center

Greece 2020 © Enri Canaj/MSF

NEW YORK/GENEVA, NOVEMBER 23, 2020—Following US-based Regeneron’s United States Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization for REGN-CoV-2, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is concerned the COVID-19 drug will be priced out of reach or otherwise inaccessible for people all over the world.

To ensure wide access to this medicine to treat adults with confirmed mild and moderate COVID-19 with risk factors for severe disease, the pharmaceutical corporation must charge at-cost prices for the drug, distribute it equitably instead of only to countries that can pay the most, and not enforce their patents or block generic versions from being made, MSF said.

Julien Potet, policy advisor on Neglected Tropical Diseases for MSF’s Access Campaign, said today:

“Regeneron has not yet said how much it will charge for this drug, but the corporation should not try to profiteer off of this pandemic, especially considering the substantial funding support from US taxpayers that went into developing the treatment.

“The price for REGN-CoV-2 should be no more than the actual cost to make the treatment. Previous research estimates it costs around $100 or less to produce one gram of a monoclonal antibody treatment, so Regeneron should charge no more than $240 for a full treatment course of 2.4g of REGN-CoV-2.

“Given the small amounts of this drug that exist compared to the needs, Regeneron should not enforce its patents on this treatment. A global pandemic is no time for business as usual. Regeneron should consider transferring its technology and know-how into a technology pool so that other monoclonal antibody manufacturers can start to produce and supply this drug.

“The US government has already bought up all stocks of this drug, leaving nearly nothing for the rest of the world. This is not equitable and makes it all the more urgent for Regeneron to make its know-how available so that other manufacturers can also produce and supply the drug.”