Molnupiravir (Image: Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp via ABACAPRESS.COM)

Australia has ordered 300,000 doses of COVID-19 treatment drug Molnupiravir. The company which manufactures the drug, Merck, is selling it to the US for 40 times what it costs to make. 

Drug pricing is tricky: no one would begrudge drug companies making a reasonable profit at this time, given how much we need these medicines and how much development is going into them. But secret dealings mean determining what's reasonable profit and what's price gouging is nearly impossible. 

Fortunately, Australia is in a good spot to negotiate what is considered a reasonable price for drugs -- despite our long lockdowns and high COVID-19 case numbers.