The Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS), dependent on the Ministry of Health, has reported that the ‘available stock at the moment in Spain of remdesivir, the only authorized antiviral drug against COVID-19, “it will be sold out in the next few hours” due to the “increase in the number of cases”.
In a statement, the AEMPS explains that at the time of authorization, with the epidemiological situation in July, the laboratory that owns the drug guaranteed “a sufficient ‘stock’ of remdesivir in Spain to cover the needs until its production can be increased.” “However, with the increase in the number of cases, the available ‘stock’ is going to be exhausted in the next few hours,” the text acknowledges.
For this reason, the AEMPS, in collaboration with the hospital pharmacy services, will mobilize remdesivir left over from clinical trials, available in the participating hospitals, to attend to patients from all over the national territory who need it “until there is a new shipment of remdesivir next week. “
Next shipment next week
These shipments are part of the contract that the European Commission signed with the Gilead Pharmaceutical Company to guarantee access to remdesivir for 30,000 patients during the next months until the centralized purchase that will be effective in October. Spain received the first shipment (of three expected) last week. The second is scheduled for next week.
“However, the AEMPS is working so that it occurs as soon as possible and thus avoid tensions in the availability of the drug and the exchange of surplus drugs between hospitals,” they point out.
The AEMPS also assures that it is “in continuous and constant communication with the company on all matters related to remdesivir, to optimize treatments with the available medication and until production allows meeting the needs”.
The AEMPS has already published a series of Recommendations for Remdesivir Treatment of COVID-19 Patients in which a maximum duration of 5 days in hospitalized COVID-19 patients requiring supplemental oxygen, but not invasive mechanical ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
Remdesivir, from which the United States has bought the fall production to stock up, has been shown to be very effective for a five-day application but not as effective if the treatment is extended to 10, according to a new study published in the journal of the medical association U.S.
The analysis, on 600 patients, denies that its effects reduce hospitalization time, although they do improve the general condition of the patient compared to other treatments but not so much.
Gilead, which is now releasing the study drug, is pending full approval from the US pharmaceutical regulator, the FDA.