Remdesivir Distribution to States is a Step in the Right Direction but Transparency Remains Paramount
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services decision allowing state health departments to distribute limited supplies of remdesivir to treat COVID-19 where they are needed will support fair and equitable access to the drug. The decision, on the use of a Gilead donation to the U.S. of approximately 78,000 treatment courses that followed emergency authorization of the drug to treat the coronavirus, represents a welcome change of course.
Remaining allotments of the drug should be distributed quickly as parts of the country prepare for a peak in infections within the coming weeks. Full and immediate transparency on allocations will be essential for re-opening plans to be informed by available resources.
Data on remdesivir from the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial should be released now to help hospitals and frontline providers determine which patients may benefit the most from the drug while it remains in limited supply. Federal leadership, transparency and decisions based on evidence will continue to be essential to containing the harmful impacts of this national crisis.