EU-US competition: The big struggle for remdesivir

Remdesivir is considered a promising remedy for Covid-19. Approval is imminent in the EU. The US government has now secured almost all of its production for the next three months.

A contest has broken out between the United States and the EU over the corona remdesivir. While the U.S. Department of Health said it had secured much of its targeted production by September, the Department of Health is expecting approval of the drug remdesivir for the treatment of Covid-19 patients in the EU “later this week.”

“Admission entails an obligation to be able to deliver to a reasonable extent. We expect Gilead to meet that obligation,” said a spokesman for the ministry. “The federal government secured remdesivir for the treatment of corona patients at an early stage,” added the spokesman. There are still enough reserves at the moment.

Is there nothing left for Europe?

The agreement between the United States and the US biotech company Gilead provides for the purchase of drug doses for more than 500,000 treatments, according to the US Department of Health. This corresponds to 100 percent of the planned production volume for July and 90 percent for August and September.

At the request of the dpa news agency, a Gilead spokesman did not want to comment on the question of whether the agreement would endanger the supply of the active ingredient in Europe. Pharmaceutical expert Andrew Hill from the University of Liverpool said, according to the Guardian newspaper: “You (the United States) have access to most of the drug, so nothing remains for Europe.”

One of the few drugs in Covid-19

Remdesivir is considered one of the most promising drugs for severe corona symptoms. Studies have shown that hospitalization at Covid-19 can be shortened. Gilead said it agreed with the US government that unallocated parts of the production “could be made available for other uses, including outside the United States.” To this end, the hospitals’ needs reports will be closely monitored and evaluated every two weeks, it said.

EU will shortly decide on approval

Just last week, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended approval for the drug with the trade name Veklury subject to conditions in Europe. A decision by the EU Commission is expected later this week.

Remdesivir was originally developed to treat Ebola, but was not effective enough. So far, it has not been approved as a medicine in any country in the world.


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