EU to Buy Half-a-Million Remdesivir
October 08, 2020
executive branch of the European Union announced Thursday it has signed
a deal with pharmaceutical company Gilead to buy 500,000 treatment
courses of Remdesivir, an antiviral drug shown to be effective in
treating symptoms of COVID-19.
The European Commission, which has overseen joint purchases of vaccines
for the European bloc, said there were 37 signatories to the agreement,
including all EU countries, six Balkan candidate and potential EU
members, Britain and other European Economic Area countries of Iceland,
Liechtenstein and Norway.
No treatment has yet proved able to prevent serious illness after a
coronavirus infection, but the antiviral drug, also known by its
commercial name Veklury, has helped some COVID-19 patients recover
faster. It is among the drugs being used to treat U.S. President Donald
Trump, who tested positive for coronavirus last week.
was approved as a treatment for by the commission in July. There are
reports of shortages of the drug among EU members because many countries
in the region have seen a resurgence of COVID-19 in recent weeks.
The drug company said the agreement will allow countries to purchase the
drug for immediate use and stockpiling needs.
European Commission spokesman Stefan De Keersmaecker said Thursday
during a briefing that a coronavirus vaccine candidate being tested by
drug maker Johnson and Johnson is in phase three of its clinical trials.
Keersmaecker says the commission has contracted with the pharmaceutical
company to allow EU members to purchase enough of the vaccine, should it
prove viable, to treat 200 million people, with the option of buying
enough for 200 million more.