Special: US hospitals shut down Remedisvir, limit access to the sickest COVID-19 patients

(Reuters) – US hospitals have closed nearly a third of their allocated supply of COVID-19 drug remediesvir since July as the need for expensive antiviral veins, the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services (HHS) confirmed on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: An ampule of Ebola drug remediesvir is depicted during a news conference at the University Hospital Epporf (UKE) on 8 April 2020 in Hamburg, Germany, as the prevalence of coronovirus disease (COVID-19) continues. Ulrich Beyond / via Pool REUTERS

Some hospitals said they are still buying Gilead Sciences GILD.O Medicines for making medicines if the epidemic in winter accelerates. But he said the current supply is adequate, in part because they are limiting the use of critically ill patients.

The Food and Drug Administration has allowed more lenient remasivir use, but 6 of the 8 major hospital systems contacted by Reuters said they were not using it for liberal cases.

The recession shows that the drug shortage is over and attempts by Gilead to use Remedisvir threaten it, which sells it under the brand name Vecleri in some countries.

A spokesperson for HHS confirmed on Friday that between July 6 and September 8, state and territory public health systems accepted about 72% of the remediesvir that was offered to them. Hospitals in turn bought only two-thirds of what states and territories accepted, as already detailed by Michael Gannio, senior director of pharmacy practice and quality at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

Gilead did not respond to a request for comment.

The surplus of Remedivir – which costs $ 3,120 for a 6-vial intravenous course – is already a change in the epidemic, when the drug supply was reduced in some areas.

The government-led distribution of Remedisvir will end in late September. Hospitals said they had little information about availability.

Remdesivir was first authorized by the FDA to be hospitalized for emergency use in COVID-19 and after the figures support oxygen it helps reduce hospital improvement time.

‘Not regularly applied’

The agency last month expanded access to hospitalized patients who do not require oxygen support based on data published in the JAMA Medical Journal, indicating that the drug provides modest benefits for those patients.

The new data has left many experts unaffiliated.

“I’m not too impressed with the study,” said Dr. Cleveland, an infectious disease specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. Adarsh ​​Bhimraj said. He said he remains “skeptical” about using Remedisvir in patients with moderate COVID-19, particularly given its price.

Dr., an infectious disease physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. Rajesh Gandhi said that his center has focused on using Remedisvir for a narrow population of critically ill patients who require supplemental oxygen.

“No one wants to be in a position to make treatment decisions based on drug availability,” he said.

Houston Methodist Hospital has prohibited the widespread use of Remedisvir, and is instead stocking it in the event of an outbreak of epidemics in winter – typically peak season for respiratory disease.

“At this time, we are buying more than we are using because we are unsure about what will happen in late September,” said Catherine Perez, an infectious disease pharmacist at Houston Methodist.

He said that there is no evidence that COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized for a day or two due to an underlying health problem such as diabetes or hypertension would benefit from the drug.

Associate Chief Pharmacy Officer Mark Sullivan of Vanderbilt University Hospitals and Clinics in Nashville said his institution has not expanded the use of Remedisvir based on new JAMA data.

“We have kept our treatment protocols uniform,” he said.

Reporting by Dina Beazley; Editing by Peter Henderson and Bill Burcott