The European Commission announced on Wednesday (October 7) about supplies of the drug Veklury (remdesivir) to EU Member States, including Poland. It is the only drug approved in the European Union for the treatment of COVID-19 patients who need oxygen. According to the spokesman of the Ministry of Health, Wojciech Andrusiewicz, Poland will receive 420 doses of remdesivir by Thursday (October 8).
EC spokesman Stefan De Keersmaecker said that in July the European Commission signed a contract with Gilead to secure Veklura’s supplies for approx. 30 thousand patients (corresponding to approximately 180,000 doses).
– The contract with a total value of EUR 63 million covered the needs of the Member States in August, September and early October. Since the beginning of August, doses have been made available to Member States and the UK with the coordination and support of the Commission, the spokesman said.
To further support Member States, he added, the Commission negotiated and secured the delivery of an additional 20,290 doses, entirely financed by the Emergency Support Facility, to help nearly 3,400 patients.
– These additional doses are now being delivered, the first of them yesterday, and the next deliveries are due today and in the coming days, with a focus on the Member States that need them most. For example, deliveries to Greece and the Netherlands took place yesterday. Today, deliveries are expected to Austria, Denmark, Poland, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Greece and Slovenia. The deliveries are planned for all Member States that have confirmed their interest in these additional deliveries, the spokesman pointed out.
He added that in order to meet the further needs of the Member States, the Commission intends to sign a new framework agreement with Gilead.
Earlier, information on drug deliveries to Poland was provided by the RMF radio.
– By tomorrow (October 8), we are to receive another 420 doses of remdesivir. Also by tomorrow, the European Commission is to conclude a framework agreement with the manufacturer, which will cover doses for the entire EU. As a result, we will sign a contract for specific supplies, informed the spokesman of the Ministry of Health, Wojciech Andrusiewicz.
Remdesivir is an antiviral drug previously used to treat e.g. haemorrhagic fever caused by the Ebola virus. Currently, the drug is used in the treatment of patients suffering from COVID-19 in severe condition.
The drug is an inhibitor (poison) for one of the enzymes of various types of coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2 and Ebola. It disrupts the production of genetic material and prevents the virus from replicating. It is given into a vein via a drip.
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