The Ebola preparation Remdesivir can also help corona patients – now the Gilead Group and the EU have agreed on delivery after long negotiations.
The European Union has signed a contract with the pharmaceutical company Gilead to purchase the Covid-19 drug Remdesivir. From the beginning of August, 30,000 patients are to be treated in this way.
“The Commission signed a contract with pharmaceutical company Gilead to secure treatment doses of Veklury – the brand name for Remdesivir. Batches of this drug will be made available to the Member States and the UK from early August,” said a spokeswoman for the EU Commission.
Remdesivir is the first drug in Europe to treat Covid-19. The agent, originally developed to treat Ebola patients, inhibits an enzyme that coronaviruses need to reproduce. A five-day treatment costs about 2000 euros per patient, but the use is not uncontroversial.
“Over the past few weeks, the Commission has worked tirelessly with Gilead to reach an agreement to ensure that stocks of the first treatment approved against Covid-19 are delivered to the EU,” said EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides, according to a statement.
“The Commission is doing everything in its power to ensure access and guarantee efficient treatments.” The agreement now reached is an important step in the fight against the disease.
According to the Commission spokeswoman, the contract is worth EUR 63 million. The drug is said to benefit patients with severe Covid-19 symptoms. “This first batch will only meet immediate needs. At the same time, the Commission is now preparing to procure further supplies of this drug, which will meet further needs from October.”