“We don’t have enough.” Doctors say there are shortages of drug to fight COVID-19

Gilead says it has only enough for 200,000 patients worldwide.

News 12 Staff

May 8, 2020, 5:01 PM

Updated 1,508 days ago


There are concerns about the availability of Remdesivir, the only FDA-approved drug to treat the coronavirus.
Remdesivir, the first and only drug shown to work against COVID-19 in a rigorous clinical trial, is made by the company Gilead.
Preliminary results show it shortens a patient's hospital stay by about four days.   
However, Gilead says it has only enough for 200,000 patients worldwide.
Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, was happy last week when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the use of Remdesivir for COVID-19. “I think there was that excitement and then there was sadness and disappointment. Every day you don't get a drug, it means that more patients are potentially going to do badly because time is of the essence when you're talking about treating a virus,” says Chin-Hong. 
So doctors have to choose which of their patients will get Remdesivir. “It's been challenging.  I do believe that people who merit it are not going to get it because we simply don't have enough,” says Dr. Rochelle Walensky, of Massachusetts General Hospital.
Doctors are also questioning why some hospitals were sent Remdesivir and others were not, and how those hospitals can get the drug.
Dr. Chin-Hong says he's asked and received no answers.  “What was the process of applying? They say don't call us, we'll call you.” 
Gilead says it is ramping up production, hoping to help a million patients by December. But until there is more,  doctors will continue to fight for their patients. 

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