“President Trump has made an amazing deal to give Americans access to the first approved treatment for covid-19,” said US Secretary of Health Alex Azar.
“We want to get every American patient who needs a remdesivir to get to him. The Trump administration is doing everything it can to learn more about drugs that can save the lives of people with covid, and also to provide these treatment options for American citizens, “Azar added.
The US bought more than half a million doses of remdesivir, which is the entire production of this drug for July and ninety percent for August and September. “They have access to most supplies, so there’s nothing left for Europe,” medical expert Andrew Hill of Liverpool University told The Guardian.
According to experts contacted by the British daily, this is a worrying situation that also raises concerns in the future – for example, about who will receive an effective vaccine against the disease.
The first anti-coronavirus drug
The efficacy of remdesivir has been demonstrated in several independent studies. The drug significantly shortens hospital stays, thus preventing hospitals from overcrowding. The first 140,000 doses of the drug have already been used in countries around the world.
Remdesivir is patented by the American company Gilead Sciences, so no other company can produce it. Gilead set the price of his drug in the United States and other developed countries at $ 2,340 (about $ 55,800) for a five-day treatment. That price is less than $ 5,080 for the five days recommended last week by the US Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), which evaluates the effectiveness of drugs.
Following an accelerated benefit-risk assessment, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended a week ago that conddesivir be conditionally approved for the treatment of patients with covid-19.
Remdesivir will be prescribed by doctors in the European Union under the name Veklury as soon as the European Commission agrees. It usually follows the recommendations of the drug agency and its decision is expected in the near future.
The number of people infected in the US is still growing rapidly
According to the Guardian, the United States has bought back supplies of remdesivir due to the deteriorating situation in the country. The number of cases of coronavirus infection doubled in June in 14 US states, including California, Florida and Texas. The highest increase, 294 percent, was recorded in Arizona in June, followed by South Carolina and Arkansas with 200 and 179 percent increases, respectively. Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah also report more than twofold increases in new cases of infection.
Anthony Fauci, an epidemiologist and member of the White House’s coronavirus crisis staff, Anthony Fauci, said on Tuesday that if the current upward trend in cases continued, the United States could soon register up to 100,000 newly infected people a day. At present, the daily increase in infected is about 40 thousand.
Who gets remdesivir
Gilead announced on Wednesday that it had donated remdesivir doses to Australia. The manufacturer is also trying to provide cheaper remdesivirus options for citizens of the world‘s poorer countries.
In May, one of the largest drug manufacturers, Beximco Pharmaceuticals, began production of remdesivir in Bangladesh. Gilead has also partnered with generic drug manufacturers in India and Pakistan, including Cipla Ltd and Hetero Labs Ltd, to manufacture and supply remdesivir to 127 developing countries. In them, the price should reach about $ 600 (about 14,400 crowns) per treatment.