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EU authorizes remdesivir for COVID-19 treatment

Kampala, Uganda | XINHUA | The European Commission has authorized anti-viral drug remdesivir for the treatment against coronavirus on Friday, making it the first drug authorized at the European Union level for the treatment of COVID-19.

“Today, the European Commission granted a conditional marketing authorization for the medicine remdesivir,” the European Commission said in a press release.

Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “Today’s authorisation of a first medicine to treat COVID-19 is an important step forward in the fight against this virus… We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to secure efficient treatments or vaccine against the coronavirus.”

The EU expedited the authorization, approving the drug in an exceptionally short timeframe, but not before the news that the U.S. has already locked down a large supply of remdesivir, made by Gilead Sciences, in the coming months.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed Monday that it had secured all of the Gilead’s production for July and 90 percent of that for August and September for U.S. hospitals, raising concerns in Europe.

A spokesman for the European Commission told a press conference on Thursday that Brussels heard of the U.S. move from media reports, meaning Washington didn’t bother to inform its allies beforehand. The EU was in ongoing talks with Gilead Sciences to reserve a “sufficient number of doses”, reporters were told.

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