New Delhi: To curb the continuous spread of COVID-9, the United States on Wednesday announced that it will be buying almost all of the global stock of Gilead’s Remdesivir, one of the only two drugs against coronavirus that have been proven effective. This will leave the rest of the world with no scope to buy the medicine for up to three months, until the next batch is ready. Also Read - Coronavirus Cases in Delhi Cross 1.45 Lakh-mark, Kejriwal Says Situation Under Control | Top Developments
The US Department of Health Services (HHS) had announced on Monday that it has reserved over 500,000 courses of Remdesivir in US hospitals till September. This accounts for all of Gilead’s projected production for July and more than 90 per cent for August and September, apart from samples kept aside for clinical trials. Also Read - Satish Shah Tested COVID-19 Positive in July, Was Admitted to Hospital, Now Under Home Quarantine
Notably, the US has been on top of the global COVID-19 hierarchy for months now with 25,73,393 confirmed cases. The Trump administration’s decision will see to it that any patient who seeks Remdesivir treatment in the country gets it without any hassle. Also Read - 'Many From Outside Getting Tested Here': Delhi Health Minister on Rise in Capital's COVID-19 Cases
“President (Donald) Trump has struck an amazing deal to ensure Americans have access to the first authorised therapeutic for COVID-19,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement and added, “To the extent possible, we want to ensure that any American patient who needs Remdesivir can get it.”
While in its current formula, Remdesivir cannot completely cure a person suffering from coronavirus, it has been approved by many countries, including India, for usage on patients hospitalised with moderate stage of coronavirus, that is, those who require oxygen support.
The medicine has been advised to be used only on an emergency basis, barring all candidates with severe renal impairment and high level of liver enzymes, pregnant and lactating women, and the age group below 12 years.
Remdesivir, a popular sports drug, previously failed as a treatment for Ebola outbreak. It has also not shown any improvement in the number of COVID-19 deaths. However, it did show quick recovery for those suffering moderate symptoms. With the US claiming supply for the next three months, it may become challenging for other countries where the viral outbreak has taken a serious turn.