HHS secures 500,000 courses of remdesivir for US hospitals

HHS said June 29 that it has secured more than 500,000 treatment courses of remdesivir through September that U.S. hospitals can purchase.

The remdesivir supplies will be allocated to states by HHS using coronavirus hospitalization data, and state health departments will decide which hospitals will get the drug. 

HHS said in a news release that AmerisourceBergen will continue to ship the drug and that shipments will likely occur every two weeks. 

"To the extent possible, we want to ensure that any American patient who needs remdesivir can get it. 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," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar.

Earlier June 29, Gilead Sciences set a price for remdesivir. The drugmaker said it would charge the U.S. government and other developed countries $2,340 for a five-day course. Commercial insurers in the U.S. will pay 33 percent more, or $3,120 for a five-day course. Most patients treated with remdesivir receive a five-day treatment course using six vials of remdesivir.

While there are still no COVID-19 treatments approved by the FDA, remdesivir has been shown to shorten recovery time of hospitalized patients by about four days.

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