The United States has secured almost the entire world stock of remdesivir for the next three months from its sole manufacturer Gilead Sciences. It is one of the two drugs currently being used for the treatment of coronavirus patients around the world.
In a recent statement, US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said that it has secured 500,000 treatment courses of the drug for American hospitals through September. This represents 100 per cent of Gilead's projected production for July (94,200 treatment courses), 90 per cent of production in August (174,900 treatment courses), and 90 per cent of production in September (232,800 treatment courses), in addition to an allocation for clinical trials.
This leaves a measly 1,900 treatment courses for other nations. On average, a treatment course of remdesivir is 6.25 vials.
"President Trump has struck an amazing deal to ensure Americans have access to the first authorised therapeutic for COVID-19," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. "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."
Recently, Gilead revealed plans to charge $2,340 for a 5-day regimen of remdesivir, $390 per vial, for direct government purchases by the US or other developed countries. This decision is crucial as it would set the precedent for coronavirus drugs' pricing in future.
Number of coronavirus cases in the United States has reached 2,581,229, as per Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, with 126,739 deaths across the nation.