The United States has bought up virtually the whole supply of a drug that could shorten the recovery time of coronavirus patients, leaving hardly any for other countries.
Remdesivir, an antiviral drug, is made by biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, based in California. America has secured more than 500,000 treatment courses through September. That represents 100 per cent of Gilead’s projected production for July, and 90 per cent for each of the next two months.
Alex Azar, the US health secretary, said: “President Trump has struck an amazing deal to ensure Americans have access to the first authorised therapeutic for Covid-19. To the extent possible, we want to ensure that any American patient who needs remdesivir can get it.”
It came as America’s top infectious disease expert warned Congress the country could see as many as 100,000 new coronavirus cases a day if its current spikes in infections are not contained.