by Thomas Catenacci
The United States has secured nearly the entire global supply of remdesivir, a drug that has been effective in fighting coronavirus.
Remdesivir, which is manufactured by American pharmaceutical giant Gilead, has proven to help patients with coronavirus recover faster, according to The Guardian. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secured more than 500,000 doses of the drug, accounting for the vast majority of Gilead’s July, August and September supply, according to a Monday press release.
“President Trump has struck an amazing deal to ensure Americans have access to the first authorized therapeutic for COVID-19,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “To the extent possible, we want to ensure that any American patient who needs remdesivir can get it.”
The deal has led some Europeans to cry foul.
“They’ve got access to most of the drug supply [of remdesivir], so there’s nothing for Europe,” said Dr. Andrew Hill, senior visiting research fellow at Liverpool University, according to The Guardian. “This is the first major approved drug, and where is the mechanism for access?”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved an emergency use authorization of remdesivir on May 1. Gilead owns a patent for the drug making it impossible for pharmaceutical companies around the world to replicate it, The Guardian reported.
“FDA’s emergency authorization of remdesivir, two days after the National Institutes of Health’s clinical trial showed promising results, is a significant step forward in battling COVID-19 and another example of the Trump Administration moving as quickly as possible to use science to save lives,” Azar said in a statement at the time.
The announcement of the deal comes as coronavirus cases continue to spike nationwide, according to The New York Times. California, Arizona and Texas are among states that are experiencing new highs in daily cases.
The U.S. is “going in the wrong direction” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at a Senate hearing Tuesday, according to The Washington Post. Fauci said he wouldn’t be surprised if the U.S. soon began seeing 100,000 new cases per day.
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Thomas Catenacci is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.