According to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal, the US government sent nearly 500,000 doses of Gilead Sciences' COVID-19 drug remdesivir to states over three weeks last month, but the supplies were not enough to treat the tens of thousands of hospitalised patients.
Supplies of the drug rose across states over those weeks, to enough to treat between 40,000 and 74,000 patients, according to Health and Human Services (HHS) Department data.
However, hospitalized patients outnumbered remdesivir treatment courses distributed to states by a ratio of more than 2 to 1 during the three-week stretch, which covers the initial period after the drug received an emergency use authorization from the FDA, according to separate data tracking hospitalizations.
According to the news source, some doctors treating COVID-19 patients said their hospitals got better access to the drug after early problems, but shipments were not enough to treat all patients.
An HHS spokeswoman said the agency does not control how much remdesivir is available, and it has distributed all of the drug that it has so far received from Gilead.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the drugmaker said "our supply of remdesivir will begin to increase in July, when we will have access to raw materials ordered in January."