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IDSA, HIVMA Call for Transparency, Equitable Remdesivir Access

With FDA emergency authorization of remdesivir to treat COVID-19, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and its HIV Medicine Association are calling on Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials to provide public transparency in the process for determining how and where the medication is distributed and to ensure equitable distributions to states and hospitals based on COVID-19 case and hospitalization rates.

Remdesivir, an antiviral medicine, is still an investigational drug but has shown evidence in clinical trials of shortening the time to recovery from COVID-19. The contribution of 1.5 million doses of the medicine by drug maker Gilead can provide 10 days of treatment for 140,000 people.

That contribution is likely to fall short of demand from the tens of thousands of patients per month who are projected to require hospitalization nationwide due to COVID-19, and meet FDA criteria for remdesivir treatment throughout the summer, according to public health data.

In their letter, IDSA and HIVMA stress the importance of equitable distribution to ensure that health facilities in communities already disproportionately affected by the coronavirus, including Black American and Latinx populations, have equal access to remdesivir and publicly releasing data from the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial so that hospitals have the best possible data to inform how to distribute it among patients.

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