Story at a glance
- The federal government will donate its stockpile of remdesivir to states with coronavirus case surges.
- The drug was given emergency authorization by the FDA in May.
The federal government is planning to send more doses of remdesivir, the antiviral drug proven to help patients infected with the coronavirus recover, to highly affected states including California, Texas, Florida and Arizona, Reuters reports.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made the announcement on its website, and White House Coronavirus task force team member Deborah Birx confirmed that the government reallocated the drug to states experiencing growing case numbers.
The treatments will ship on Monday and reportedly use up the government’s entire stockpile of remdesivir, amounting to 120,647 treatment courses in total. HHS said it had received those doses in a donation from remdesivir’s manufacturer, Gilead Sciences Inc. The agency says it will be working with Gilead to help determine how the company’s future output will be allocated.
California is expected to receive 464 cases, each containing 40 vials, while Texas will be given 448 cases, Florida will receive 360 cases and Arizona will get 356 cases.
After remdesivir was granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May, Gilead donated the first available courses. One of the first recipients was New York, one of the states hit hardest in the initial months of the pandemic. Other states, including Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan and New Jersey also received doses of remdesivir earlier in May.
BREAKING NEWS ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC