Various health officials and government heads criticized the U.S. government’s move this week to secure most of the world’s incoming supply of Gilead’s remdesivir.
Gilead’s experimental antiviral is currently the only treatment approved in the U.S. for the coronavirus. After trial results showed that it could reduce hospital stays for some patients, the drug has gone into high demand around the world. Gilead was supplying remdesivir by donation until this week, when the company released a price for the drug.
Now, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that it has made a deal to procure 500,000 doses of remdesivir, which is 90 percent of Gilead’s expected production through September.
After news of the deal broke, some experts and politicians criticized the agreement, including the head of the Danish Medicines Agency, who said that it could endanger lives in the EU. However, some other government heads, including those in the UK, pointed out that they have sufficient stock of the treatment for now and are expecting Gilead to deliver more doses down the road.
Gilead said it is also partnering with generic drugmakers in India and Pakistan to manufacturer a generic version of remdesivir for 127 countries.