Gilead’s remdesivir has potential to be stockpiled by US federal government’s National Strategic Stockpile for COVID-19

As Gilead Sciences’ remdesivir continues to steal the COVID-19 spotlight, the antiviral is likely to be considered for inclusion in the top-secret US Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to ensure supply, according to reporting by Reynald Castañeda and Manasi Vaidya, Pharma Writers for the Investigative News team at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Castañeda comments: “Considering no one can predict what the COVID-19 situation will look like next year, stockpiling at both the SNS and local health departments could be the best means to ensure there are no shortages and if full approval comes through, could involve price discounts as Gilead starts selling the drug.”

In early May, Gilead noted that its donation of 1.5 million individual remdesivir doses equates to more than 140,000 treatment courses. The FDA had previously granted the therapy an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) on 1st May.

Vaidya notes: “Once the donation peters out or if the drug gets standard approval, interviewed experts discussed how various private payers may also consider bulk buying schemes.”

Castañeda continues: “A bulk buying strategy could allow both the government and even private payers to take advantage of price discounts, which can be in the 2-10% range.”

Vaidya adds: “Some experts noted that there is also the chance that Gilead’s manufacturing ability catches up with the demand, in which case stockpiling may not be necessary. Another scenario is that the government may be interested in shifting the onus of buying remdesivir to the private sector to help stimulate the economy. Nonetheless, the US government’s stockpile plans will influence any potential for bulk buying strategies by the private sector.”

Under the FDA’s EUA, remdesivir can be used to treat confirmed COVID-19 in adults and children hospitalized with severe disease.

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