Gilead suspends access to experimental COVID-19 drug

Gilead Sciences is temporarily suspending access to its experimental COVID-19 treatment, remdesivir, due to "overwhelming demand," STAT reported. 

Though the drug hasn't been approved to treat COVID-19, Gilead has been giving it to patients through a compassionate use program because it was shown to be somewhat effective in treating the symptoms of COVID-19 in preliminary trials. 

However, there has been an "exponential increase" in requests for the drug in recent weeks because of the viruses spread across Europe and the U.S., according to STAT

Because Gilead doesn't have the capacity to grant every request, it is temporarily halting access with the exception of pregnant women and children under 18 with confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses and for those with "severe manifestations" of the disease. 

The drugmaker said it is working on an expanded access program to allow more patients to enroll in clinical trials to get the drug, STAT reported. 

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