NMA reacts as US hijacks Remdesivir

Health experts across the globe have berated the United States’ decision to buy out nearly all the global supply of Remdesivir for three months, warning that the development could set a dangerous precedence in the fight against COVID-19.

Remdesivir, an antiviral medication that once offered hope against Ebola, is the only licensed drug by both the United States and the European Union for the treatment of those in the severe stage of COID-19 infection.

The US Department of Health and Human Services had announced on Tuesday that it had struck “an amazing deal” to buy out the Gilead Sciences’ COVID-19 drug for the benefit of Americans

While revealing that the Trump administration had secured 500,000 global supply of Remdesivir for the next three months, the HHS noted that the first delivery represented 100% of Gilead’s July production capacity and 90 per cent of its capacity in August and September.

“The Trump administration is doing everything in our power to learn more about lifesaving therapeutics for COVID-19 and secure access to these options for the American people,” HHS said in a statement.

It would be recalled that early trial testing of Remdesivir in patients hospitalised with COVID-19 revealed that those who received the drug recovered quicker than those who did not.

National Chairman of the Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria, Dr. Kingsley Amibor, said he was not surprised at the action of the US in mopping up Gilead’s entire three months’stock.

“Don’t forget  that currently, the US has the highest rate of infections and mortality from COVID-19 and as such, any step or measure they can take legally to protect their citizens against the rampaging pandemic should be seen as borne out of desperation and not necessarily out of selfishness.

“Don’t forget that Remdesivir is one of two drugs that have shown clinical improvement in the management of COVID-19 so far; the other being Dexamethasone,” he said

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