Dutch hospitals can no longer order supplies of the anti-viral drug Remdesivir to treat coronavirus patients because central supplies have run out, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Tuesday.
Remdesivir, developed to treat ebola by pharmaceuticals giant Gilead, may prove effective in helping coronavirus patients with breathing difficulties and was approved for use by the EU drugs authorities in June.
The public health institute RIVM and health ministry have confirmed that the drug is out of stock and say officials have been in talks with the EU for ‘weeks’ about the problem. The European Commission buys the drug in centrally for all member states and it is unclear if other EU countries are also faced with a shortage.
Remdesivir was approved for use in treating Covid-19 in the US in May, and was given to president Donald Trump during his recent spell in hospital.
Despite the shortage, doctors told the FD the situation is ‘not a disaster’ for patients.
Mark de Boer, an infectious diseases specialist at Leiden’s LUMC teaching hospital, told the paper that the drug does not save lives, but can reduce the amount of time patients spend in hospital.
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