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Exclusive: U.S. Hospitals Turn Down Remdesivir, Limit Use To Sickest COVID-19 Patients

HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-REMDESIVIR-EXCLUSIVE:Exclusive: U.S. hospitals flip down remdesivir, restrict use to sickest COVID-19 sufferers

U.S. hospitals have turned down a couple of third of their allotted provides of the COVID19 drug remdesivir since July as want for the expensive antiviral wanes, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) confirmed on Friday.

  • Reuters
  • Last Updated: September 12, 2020, 11:33 AM IST


U.S. hospitals have turned down a couple of third of their allotted provides of the COVID-19 drug remdesivir since July as want for the expensive antiviral wanes, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) confirmed on Friday.

Some hospitals mentioned they’re nonetheless shopping for the Gilead Sciences medication to construct stock in case the pandemic accelerates over the winter. But they mentioned present provides are sufficient, partially as a result of they’re limiting use to severely unwell sufferers.

The Food and Drug Administration has allowed extra liberal remdesivir use, however 6 out of Eight main hospital techniques contacted by Reuters mentioned they weren’t utilizing it for reasonable instances.

The slowdown suggests {that a} scarcity of the drug is over and threatens Gilead’s efforts to develop use of remdesivir, which it sells underneath the model title Veklury in some international locations.

An HHS spokesperson confirmed on Friday that between July 6 and September 8, state and territory public well being techniques accepted about 72% of the remdesivir they have been supplied. Hospitals in flip bought solely about two-thirds of what states and territories accepted, as beforehand detailed to Reuters by Michael Ganio, senior director of pharmacy follow and high quality on the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

Gilead didn’t reply to a request for remark.

A surplus of remdesivir – which prices $3,120 for a 6-vial intravenous course – marks a turnaround from earlier within the pandemic, when provides of the drug had fallen wanting demand in some areas.

Government-led distribution of remdesivir will expire on the finish of September. Hospitals mentioned they’ve little data on availability after that.

Remdesivir was first licensed by the FDA in May for emergency use in COVID-19 sufferers hospitalized and on oxygen assist after knowledge confirmed it helped shorten hospital restoration time.


The company final month expanded use to hospitalized sufferers who don’t require oxygen assist, primarily based on knowledge revealed within the JAMA medical journal exhibiting that the drug supplied a modest profit for these sufferers.

The newer knowledge has left many consultants unconvinced.

“I am not terribly impressed with the study,” mentioned Dr. Adarsh Bhimraj, an infectious illness specialist on the Cleveland Clinic. He mentioned he stays “skeptical” about utilizing remdesivir in sufferers with reasonable COVID-19, particularly given the value.

Dr. Rajesh Gandhi, an infectious illness doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, mentioned his heart has stayed centered on utilizing remdesivir for the narrower inhabitants of severely unwell sufferers who want supplemental oxygen.

“No one wants to be in a position of making treatment decisions based on drug availability,” he mentioned.

Houston Methodist Hospital is holding off on broader use of remdesivir, and as a substitute is stockpiling it in case the pandemic flares up in winter – sometimes the height season for respiratory sickness.

“At this point, we are buying far more than we are using because we are unsure about what will happen at the end of September,” mentioned Katherine Perez, infectious illness pharmacist at Houston Methodist.

There is not any proof that COVID-19 sufferers admitted to the hospital for a day or two on account of an underlying well being subject, like diabetes or hypertension, would profit from the drug, she added.

Mark Sullivan, affiliate chief pharmacy officer at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Hospitals & Clinics, mentioned his establishment additionally didn’t develop remdesivir use primarily based on the newer JAMA knowledge.

“We have kept our treatment protocol the same,” he mentioned.

Disclaimer: This publish has been auto-published from an company feed with none modifications to the textual content and has not been reviewed by an editor

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