- The Washington Times - Monday, June 8, 2020

The U.S. government expects to run out of its supply of remdesivir, a drug proven to help treat the novel coronavirus, by the end of the month, according to a federal health official.

The last shipment of the drug, produced by Gilead Sciences, is set to go out the week of June 29 and it is unclear how much will be available this summer, CNN reported Monday.

“Right now, we’re waiting to hear from Gilead what is their expected delivery availability of the drug as we go from June to July,” Dr. Robert Kadlec, the Department of Health and Human Services assistant secretary for preparedness and response, told CNN. “We’re kind of not in negotiations but in discussions with Gilead as they project what the availability of their product will be.”

Gilead Sciences has said it is ramping up production of the investigational antiviral drug, which it said it was not actively manufacturing back in January and only had a supply to treat 5,000 patients.

After the coronavirus pandemic took off, the pharmaceutical company set a goal of producing more than 500,000 treatment courses by October, more than 1 million by December and several million in 2021 if needed.

Remdesivir, which has been used on Ebola patients, received approval from the Food and Drug Administration last month as a treatment for people hospitalized with serious case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. A study has shown that the drug cuts hospital stays from 15 days to 11 days.

“Every day we are improving processes, shortening timelines and increasing volumes as we work to bring remdesivir to patients as soon as possible,” Gilead Sciences said on its website.

Mr. Kadlec said the government has been working with the drug company to address some supply chain challenges and to accelerate the manufacturing process. However, he told CNN that “whatever the supply may be, there may not be enough for everyone who may need it.”

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide