US purchases global stock of remdesivir, a key Covid-19 drug | US news


The United States has purchased virtually all of the two proven drugs for Covid-19 for the next three months, leaving none for the United Kingdom, Europe, or most other countries in the world. .Experts and activists are alarmed both by the United States’ unilateral action on remdesivir and its broader implications, for example, if a vaccine is available. The Trump administration has already shown that it is ready to outbid and surpass all other countries to guarantee the medical supplies it needs for the United States.

“They have access to most of the drug supply [of remdesivir], so there is nothing for Europe, “said Dr. Andrew Hill, senior visiting researcher at the University of Liverpool.

Remdesivir, the first drug approved by the US authorities to treat Covid-19, is manufactured by Gilead and has been shown to help people recover from the disease faster. The first 140,000 doses supplied to drug trials worldwide have been used up. The Trump administration has now purchased more than 500,000 doses, all of Gilead’s production for July and 90% of August and September.

“President Trump has reached an incredible agreement to guarantee Americans access to the first authorized therapy for Covid-19,” said US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar. “Whenever possible, we want to make sure that any American patient who needs remdesivir can get it. The Trump administration is doing everything in our power to learn more about life-saving therapies for Covid-19 and to secure access to these options for the American people. “

Anthony Fauci said the United States is “going in the wrong direction” on Covid-19 infections. Photography: Al Drago / AFP / Getty

The drug, which was invented for Ebola but has not worked, is patented by Gilead, which means that no other company in wealthy countries can manufacture it. The cost is around $ 3,200 per six-dose treatment, according to the US government release.

The deal was announced as it became clear that the pandemic in the United States was out of control. Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading public health expert and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the Senate that the United States is shrinking.

“We are going in the wrong direction,” said Fauci. Last week, the United States recorded a new daily record of 40,000 new cases of coronavirus in one day. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we went up to 100,000 a day if it didn’t work out,” he said. He could not provide an estimated number of deaths, but said, “This is going to be very worrying, I guarantee it. ”

The United States has recorded more than 2.5 million confirmed cases of Covid-19. Some states have lifted the restrictions and then have to restrict again. On Monday, the Governor of Arizona ordered the closure of bars, cinemas, gymnasiums and water parks for a month, weeks after they reopened. Texas, Florida and California, all of which are seeing increases in cases, have also reimposed the restrictions.

The purchase of the global supply of remdesivir is not just a reaction to the increasing number of deaths and spread. The United States has adopted an “America First” attitude throughout the global pandemic.

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In May, French manufacturer Sanofi said the United States would have first access to its Covid vaccine if it worked. Its CEO, Paul Hudson, reportedly said, “The US government is entitled to the biggest preorder because it is invested to take the risk,” and, he added, the United States expected that “if we help you make the at-risk doses, we expect to receive the doses first”. Later, he backed down under pressure from the French government.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned that there could be unintended negative consequences if the United States continued to outbid its allies. “We know it is in our interest to both work together and cooperate to keep our citizens safe,” he said. The Trump administration also invoked the Defense Production Act to prevent the shipment abroad of certain medical products manufactured in the United States.


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