Remdesivir available to patients in US through US govt

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WASHINGTON: The head of the maker of remdesivir, an anti-viral shown to reduce recovery times in Covid-19 patients, said on Sunday the company has been exporting the drug and is making it available to patients in the United States through the US government.

Gilead Sciences CEO Daniel O’Day said the company is donating its entire existing supply of the drug — 1.5 million vials, enough to treat 100,000 to 200,000 patients.

“We have been exporting for clinical trials and for compassionate use thousands of treatment courses,” O’Day said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “And our collaboration with the government has been such, we have been very transparent with them here in the United States and we have a good relationship on future allocation.”

US regulators on Friday authorised the experimental drug for emergency use against Covid-19 after a major clinical trial showed it shortened the time to recovery in some coronavirus patients by a third.

It is the first medicine to show beneficial results in treating Covid-19 since the new coronavirus emerged in China late last year. O’Day said the US government will determine how the drug is allocated in the United States based on where it is needed most.

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