US purchases global stock of remdesivir, a drug considered a potential treatment for COVID-19 – National


The United States has supplied almost all of the world’s supply of remdesivir, a drug that has proven effective for critically ill patients with the new coronavirus – leaving virtually none for Canada and the world.The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Monday that it had obtained more than 500,000 courses of treatment for the drug from its sole manufacturer Gilead Sciences for American hospitals by September. Each course of treatment uses on average more than six vials of medication.

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Coronavirus drug remdesivir will cost $ 2,340 per patient in the United States.

According to a press release, the takeover represents 100% of Gilead’s planned production for July, 90% of August production and 90% of production until September. Another “clinical trial allowance” was also obtained.

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HHS Secretary Alex Azar called the move “an incredible deal” made by US President Donald Trump “to guarantee Americans access to the first authorized therapy for COVID-19.”

“Whenever possible, we want to make sure that any American patient who needs remdesivir can get it,” Azar said in a statement.

Remdesivir: a promising drug for COVID-19 treatment

Remdesivir: a promising drug for COVID-19 treatment

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to Gilead on May 1 after a major study by the U.S. National Institutes of Health found that remdesivir can reduce the risk of COVID-19 inpatient recovery times.

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The company’s 250,000 treatment courses in the United States and other countries will be completed in about a week. After that, treatment courses will cost $ 2,340 each for people covered by government health programs in the United States and other developed countries, Gilead said on Monday.

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Remdesivir Hailed as Potential COVID-19 Treatment Gets Emergency FDA Clearance from the US

Gilead has a patent on remdesivir, making it the only company capable of manufacturing the drug. This actually means that any other country that wants it may have to wait until at least September to get it.

Global News asked Public Services and Procurement Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada to comment on the US announcement.

Health Canada has approved two clinical trials of the drug COVID-19 and is currently considering Gilead’s request to authorize remdesivir for the treatment of the disease. It has not yet been approved or given emergency clearance in Canada.

Coronavirus outbreak: Trump and Fauci are hopeful about Gilead COVID-19 Remdesivir remedy

The U.S. decision is the latest in a series of roadblocks set up by the Trump administration, as it decided to source medical supplies during the coronavirus pandemic, some of which specifically affected Canada.

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In April, the American company 3M said that the Trump administration had asked it not to supply N95 respirators to Canada. The White House later signed a new deal with the company that allowed the masks to re-enter Canada.

The same month, Premier of Ontario Doug Ford said that about three to four million medical masks ordered from 3M had been stranded at the Canada-US border. Ford later clarified that 500,000 of these masks had been returned to Ontario.

—With Associated Press files


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