Remdesivir will be given free of charge to 78,000 hospitalized Americans with COVID-19 who are in serious condition.
The Department of Health and Human Services on Saturday released a distribution plan for the drug remdesivir, which was donated to the United States by the manufacturer, Gilead Sciences. This is stated in a message published on the Ministry’s website.
The Ministry of Health decided to send the donated doses of remdesivir primarily to the areas of the country most affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Starting on the evening of May 7, 30 boxes of the drug were sent to Connecticut, 140 to Illinois, 10 to Iowa, 30 to Maryland, 40 to Michigan, and 110 boxes were sent to New Jersey. Each box contains 40 vials of the drug, which is administered intravenously.
Earlier this week, remdesivir was already received in Indiana (38 boxes), Massachusetts (117 boxes), New Jersey (94 boxes), New York (565 boxes), Rhode Island (30 boxes), Tennessee (7 boxes) and Virginia (33 boxes).
Gilead Sciences has committed to deliver approximately 607,000 vials of the experimental drug-free of charge over the next six weeks. This will be enough to treat about 78,000 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 who are in a severe condition. Worldwide, the company will donate 1.5 million vials of the drug, which is currently considered one of the most effective in the fight against COVID-19.
State health departments will distribute the drug to the appropriate hospitals, taking into account the severity of the condition of patients who require the medication. First of all, the donated remdesivir will be given to patients who are on artificial ventilation devices, or people who have critically low blood oxygen content (below 94 percent).
Preliminary results of a clinical trial conducted by the US National Institutes of Health in conjunction with Gilead Sciences showed that the use of remdesivir leads to faster recovery of patients. The data obtained are not yet sufficient to determine whether the drug helps reduce mortality among severely ill patients.
The drug is expected to be delivered to all 50 States and all territories that make up the United States, as well as to the Veterans’ Health Administration and the Native American health service.
In addition to donated doses for hospitalized patients in the United States and other countries, remdesivir in the United States can also be given to participants in clinical trials.
The food and drug administration (FDA) issued emergency authorization for the use of remdesivir on May 1, allowing doctors to prescribe the drug to treat suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in adults and children who were hospitalized and are in serious condition.