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Gilead haults access to experimental COVID-19 drug Remdesivir due to massive demand

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FOSTER CITY, Calif. — Gilead Sciences has temporarily stopped granting patients access to Remdesivir, its experimental drug against the novel coronavirus, citing “overwhelming demand,” the company stated this week.

Gilead Sciences said in a statement that it is focused on processing previously approved requests, and that it is developing a new system that it says will allow patients to get the drug in a similar timeframe to what it would have taken to work through the requests it has received.

The company said it will make exceptions for pregnant women and children under 18 years of age with confirmed COVID-19 and “severe manifestations” of the disease.

Remdesivir is being studied in five large clinical trials, two of which could read out results in early April. Up until now, Gilead has made it possible for patients who want the drug to get it through a process called “compassionate use.” To date, the company said, it has provided emergency access to several hundred patients in the United States, Europe, and Japan.

The company said in its statement that “enrollment in clinical trials is the primary way to access Remdesivir to generate critical data that inform the appropriate use of this investigational medicine.”


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