The US Food and Drug Administration has updated its emergency use authorization for the investigational antiviral drug remdesivir for the treatment of Covid-19.
The agency is no longer requiring remdesivir to be distributed through the US government, officials announced during a call with reporters on Thursday.
Starting on Thursday, the biopharmaceutical company Gilead — the maker of remdesivir — will be responsible for the distribution of the drug in the United States.
"The supply of remdesivir now outweighs demand and there is no need for the federal government to oversee allocation," Dr. John Redd, an official at the US Department of Health and Human Services, said during Thursday's call.
Gilead said in a news release the company is "now meeting real-time demand" for the drug, sold under the brand name Veklury in the United States.
The release also noted that AmerisourceBergen will continue to serve as the sole US distributor of remdesivir through the end of this year and will sell the product directly to hospitals. It costs about $3,200 for a five-day treatment course.
"We feel very confident in supply ramp up and that's what we've been working through all year," Johanna Mercier, chief commercial officer for Gilead Sciences, said during Thursday's call.
"By the end of the year we will have more than 2 million treatment courses available," Mercier said. "We feel very confident that, even if there was a surge in the epidemic, that we can manage that."