Unpublished government statistics provided by a US pharmacists' group suggest that hospitals in the country have turned down about a third of their allocated supplies of Gilead Sciences' COVID-19 drug remdesivir since July as the need for the antiviral declines, as reported in the National Post.
Some hospitals are still buying remdesivir to build inventory in case the pandemic worsens over the winter, but they said current supplies are sufficient, partly because they are limiting use to severely ill patients.
The FDA has allowed more liberal remdesivir use, but six out of eight major hospital systems said they were not using it for moderate cases.
Michael Ganio, senior director of pharmacy practice and quality at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, said the US health department told hospitals and other healthcare organizations on Friday that between July 6 and September 8, state and territory public health systems accepted about 72% of the remdesivir they were offered.
He added that hospitals in turn took only about two-thirds of what states and territories accepted, although it was not immediately clear what happened to the surplus supplies.
Remdesivir was first authorized by the FDA in May for emergency use in COVID-19 patients hospitalized and on oxygen support after data showed that it helped shorten hospital recovery time. Its use was expanded last month to include hospitalized patients who do not require oxygen support.