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US supply of Gilead’s remdesivir expected to run out by the end of June

Published on 08/06/20 at 11:51am
U.S. Army photo by Jason W. Edwards

The US government will run out of their current supply of Gilead’s remdsivir by the end of the month, the only drug known to properly treat the coronavirus.

The government’s last shipment of the drug will go out on the week 29 June, and while Gilead is ramping up its production it is unclear how much of the product will be available throughout the summer.

In early May, the government distributed a small amount of remdesivir directly to about two dozen hospitals, and later to state’s health departments.

Dr Robert Kadlec, an official at the US Department of Health and Human Services, told CNN: “Right now, we're waiting to hear from Gilead what is their expected delivery availability of the drug as we go from June to July. We're kind of not in negotiations, but in discussions with Gilead as they project what the availability of their product will be. Whatever the supply may be, there may not be enough for everyone who may need it.”

The drug has been shown to reduce the hospital stay of COVID-19 patients from 15 days to 11, and last month the FDA gave remdesivir emergency authorisation.

Gilead has given the general range of product delivery for July and August but say they will significantly expand this in the autumn. They plan to have more than 500,000 treatment courses available by October, and more than a million by December.

Gilead had initially donated 940,000 vials of the drug to the government which was enough for about 121,000 patients. There are fears that Gilead will now charge a high price, which will be easier due to the lack of price regulation on the American pharmaceutical market. This could cause anger among the US population as Gilead’s drug was made with taxpayer funding.

Conor Kavanagh

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