Remdesivir, an antiviral drug produced by the California-based Gilead Sciences biopharmaceutical company, has become the first treatment for COVID-19 to receive the backing of the European Medicines Agency and at the same time the bone of contention between the EU and the US after the latter allegedly bought up the global supply of the drug.
The European Commission on Friday authorised the use of Remdesivir to treat coronavirus.
“Today’s authorisation of a first medicine to treat COVID-19 is an important step forward in the fight against this virus,” EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said in a statement.
Stefan de Keersmaecker, a spokesman for the European Commission, said on Thursday that the EU was negotiating with Gilead Sciences the possibility of providing the bloc with a sufficient number of doses of the drug amid reports that the US intends to stockpile it.
The statement comes days after media outlets reported that the United States had purchased nearly all of Remdesivir’s reserves for the next three months from the biopharmaceutical firm, thus, significantly limiting access European countries’ access to the drug.
While the first 140,000 doses of the drug were sold worldwide, in late June, Washington purchased about 500,000 doses, which is about 90 percent of the drug’s three-month supply.
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