Trump administration prevents Coronavirus task force members from testifying at congressional hearings


A bottle of the drug Remdesivir is found at a press conference in Hamburg, Germany, on April 8.
A vial of the drug Remdesivir is found at a press conference in Hamburg, Germany, on April 8. Ulrich Perrey / Pool / AFP / Getty Images

Remdesivir, an investigational drug, will be distributed according to a plan approved by the White House coronavirus task force, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The drug’s manufacturer, Gilead Sciences, previously stated that the federal government would decide where to send the company’s existing supplies – enough to treat between 100,000 and 200,000 patients.

“Remdesivir to be distributed directly to US counties by commercial supplier – based on allocation plan approved by White House task force,” FEMA spokesperson to CNN said on Monday .

“FEMA and HHS are working on the longer-term allocation strategy for this medical product,” added the spokesperson, referring to the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

In the first results of a trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, remdesivir was found to shorten the duration of illness in patients with severe Covid-19, but had no statistically significant effect on the death of patients.

Gilead President and CEO Daniel O’Day said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” this weekend that the federal government would start shipping “tens of thousands” of remedial courses earlier this week.

The US Food and Drug Administration authorized remdesivir for emergency use last week in patients with severe Covid-19. Gil’Day has long announced that he will donate his current stock of 1.5 million vials – enough to treat up to 200,000 people, according to O’Day.

“What we will do is provide this donation to the United States government, and it will determine, based on things like ICU beds, where the epidemic is going on in the United States. They will start shipping tens of thousands of courses of treatment earlier this week and adjust this as the epidemic moves and evolves in different parts, in different cities here in the United States, “said O’Day Sunday.

His comments echo the FDA’s emergency use authorization for the drug, which says, “The distribution of authorized remdesivir will be controlled by the United States (US) government for use according to terms and conditions. of this EUA. “

Asked whether the 1.5 million vials would be donated to the US government, as O’Day suggested, Gilead spokesperson Sonia Choi said on Sunday that the company was planning to supply the drug in the world.

“We intend to allocate our available supply on the basis of guidelines which aim to maximize access for appropriate patients in urgent need of treatment,” she said.

“We are working with regulatory authorities around the world and bioethicists to help inform our approach to global allocation.”

In a statement released Friday, Gilead said its goal was to produce at least 500,000 courses of treatment by October and more than one million by December.


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