The US has announced that it will be buying up almost entire global stock of remdesivir — the drug proven to be effective to cure COVID-19, leaving nothing for the UK, Europe, or the rest of the world.
The US Department of Health and Human Services released a press statement and announced that it will be buying up virtually the entire produced stock of remdesivir from manufacturer Gilead till the month of September.
The agency said it secured quite 500,000 remdesivir courses for US hospitals through September.
That represents all of Gilead’s projected production for the month of July and 90 per cent of its production in the months of August and September, additionally to an allocation for clinical trials, HHS said.
As a result, this will leave almost no stock for the rest of the world over the coming months even as the World Health Organisation has warned that the COVID-19 pandemic is only about to get worse.
On Monday, the manufacturer Gilead Sciences Inc priced its COVID-19 antiviral remdesivir at $2,340 per patient (approximately Rs 1.77 lakh) for developed nations and agreed to send nearly all of its supply of the drug to the US till the month of September.
At present, there are a total of 25,73,393 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US, with other US states setting new records for numbers of cases every day.
Remdesivir is believed to be most effective in treating COVID-19 patients even better than dexamethasone, which reduced deaths in patients requiring supportive oxygen and those on a ventilator. Thus, remdesivir is expected to be in high demand.
However, the drug in its current formulation is only being used on patients sick enough to require hospitalization as a five-day treatment course.
Earlier, Remdesivir had failed as an Ebola treatment and has not shown its traits to cure corona positive patients.