HHS unveils plan to distribute Gilead's COVID-19 drug

HHS unveiled a plan May 9 to distribute remdesivir, Gilead's drug that received emergency authorization to treat COVID-19, after physicians said the government wasn't prioritizing hospitals that needed the drug most.

Under the plan, the government will deliver the drug to state health departments and allow them to determine which hospitals should receive it. 

"State health departments will distribute the doses to appropriate hospitals in their states because state and local health departments have the greatest insight into community-level needs in the COVID-19 response," HHS said.  

Gilead has said it will donate 607,000 vials of remdesivir in the next six weeks, which is enough to treat about 78,000 patients.

The government has already distributed 22,600 vials to New York, 4,600 to Massachusetts and 3,760 to New Jersey, as well as smaller shipments to several other states. HHS said it expects all 50 states will eventually receive the drug, as well as the Indian Health Service and the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

HHS said only patients on ventilators or other mechanized breathing support will be eligible to receive the drug.

Read the full news release here.

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