The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has entered into a deal with Gilead Sciences Inc, sole manufacturer of remdesvir, under which it has secured more than 500,000 treatment courses.
This represents 100 per cent of the US-based pharmaceutical companies’ projected production for July, and 90 per cent of its production for August and September, a statement released by the HHS read.
Experts see it as a desperate measure by the US authoity as the number of Covid-19 cases has neared the three-million mark in the country.
“President 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. “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.”
Only recently, Gilead Sciences announced its pricing plan for the much-talked-about antiviral drug.
Under the new plan, the treatment would cost $2,340 per patient for wealthier nations.Remdesvir was initially developed to treat Ebola. Now, it has emerged as the first effective drug to treat Covid-19.
In May, the drug received emergency authorisation from the US’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat Covid patients.
Gilead Sciences has announced that it has entered into agreements with manufacturers across the world to make the drug available at a “substantially lower cost” in developing countries.