The United States Department of Health services has bought almost the entire next three month’s supply of breakthrough Coronavirus drug Remdesivir for itself, leaving the rest of the world possibly without any supply for the next three months.
Trump’s administration has bought the next 500,000 doses of the anti-viral drug, Remdesivir, from the manufacturer Gilead, a figure that represents Gilead’s entire production for July, and 90 per cent of all the drug that the company will produce throughout August and September.
At first, 140,000 doses of the drug was delivered to countries all over the world for trials and it was during this time the drug’s success rate in treating patients was discovered.
The company first created it as treatment for Ebola, but with its success in treating COVID-19 patients, the company now plans to charge American patients $3,200 for six doses.
White House immunologist Dr Anthony Fauci in April said Remdesivir cannot cure or prevent COVID-19, but hospitalised patients given the drug were found to recover 31 per cent faster than those who weren’t given the drug.
US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, praised the US buy saying:
“President Trump has struck an amazing deal to ensure Americans have access to the first authorized therapeutic for Covid-19.
“To the extent possible, we want to ensure 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 therapeutics for COVID-19 and secure access to these options for the American people.”
UK doctor and scientist, Dr Andrew Hill from the University of Liverpool reacting to the US’ hoarding of the drug told The Guardian: ‘They’ve got access to most of the drug supply (of Remdesivir), so there’s nothing for Europe.’
“Remdesivir is under Gilead’s patent, meaning no other drug company can manufacture its own supplies.”
Last month, according to initial findings, a cheap and widely-used steroid called dexamethasone was proven to save lives among critically ill COVID-19 patients in what scientists and the World Health Organization hailed as a breakthrough in the fight against the virus.