KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 — The US has purchased more than 500,000 treatment courses of remdesivir, leaving the potential Covid-19 treatment unavailable for other countries for the next three months.
Al Jazeera reported that the US bought all the projected production of the Gilead Sciences drug for the month of July and 90 per cent of production for August and September.
“President [Donald] Trump has struck an amazing deal to ensure Americans have access to the first authorised therapeutic for Covid-19,” US Department of Health Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar reportedly said in a statement.
“To the extent possible, we want to ensure that any American patient who needs remdesivir can get it,” he added.
Remdesivir was the first drug that showed some improvement in Covid-19 patients by reducing recovery time; the US, which has the highest number of coronavirus cases globally at 2.78 million, allowed the usage of the drug in Covid-19 treatment as currently there are no other options available in the country.
Besides the US, Japan, Singapore, Britain, Europe and Germany have given full approval for the drug to be used in Covid-19 treatment.
Amid the race of vaccine production, Gilead sanctioned royalty-free licenses to nine manufacturers of generic drugs in India, Pakistan and Egypt, enabling them to distribute the drug to 127 poor and developing countries.
According to Al Jazeera, the American biopharmaceutical company set the price of the drug at US$2,340 per patient in the US and other wealthier countries.
The United States has recorded 2.78 million Covid-19 cases and recorded nearly 131,000 deaths so far.