US buys up world’s stocks of key Covid-19 drug remdesivir


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Donald Trump’s government bought up nearly all of the world stocks of one drug used to treat coronavirus, Remdesivir

AMERICAN officials have bought all of the stocks of a key coronavirus drug for July, and 90% of the stocks for August and September.

Remdesivir was originally produced to treat Ebola patients, but has found to be effective in the treatment of those with Covid-19.

The drug is produced by US pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences and is priced at about £1892 per patient in wealthier nations. The company has agreed to supply almost its entire stocks of the drug to the States until October.

In the UK, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said weeks ago that the use of remdesivir on Covid-19 patients is the “biggest step forward in the treatment of coronavirus since the crisis began” – but now the UK, and the rest of the world, will have no access to the drug until October.

Andrew Hill, a senior visiting research fellow at Liverpool University, said: « This deal that’s been struck by America means that people with COVID-19 in the UK can’t get access to these treatments that would get them out of hospital quickly and might improve their chances of survival.

« So far, we know that for the next three months there will be no supplies of remdesivir – America will take the drugs and we won’t have access to them. That’s the case in the UK and Europe. »

The US move comes after health officials feared America’s number of cases reported daily could hit 100,000 following a huge spike in infections.

Trials of remdesivir on coronavirus patients have shown it reduces the length of time they experience symptoms from 15 to 11 days, and stops the virus from reproducing.

In the UK NHS bosses had been hopeful that they could roll the drug out to adults and teens suffering severe symptoms.

Dexamethasone is another drug that helps to lesson symptoms in Covid-19 patients – but unlike remdesivir it is cheap and widely available around the world.

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Coronavirus, Remdesivir, Gilead Sciences

World news – GB – US buys up world’s stocks of key Covid-19 drug remdesivir

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