UK Grants Early Access to Gilead’s Remdesivir for Coronavirus

27 May 2020

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The UK Government has announced that some adults and adolescents hospitalised with COVID-19 on the NHS will have access to Gilead Sciences’ remdesivir, an anti-viral medicine that has been used against Ebola

Early data suggests it can cut recovery time by about four days, but there is no evidence yet that it will save more lives

This news comes after the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency provided positive scientific opinion under the Early Access to Medicines Scheme

A selected group of COVID-19 patients will soon be able to access the medicine, announced the Department of Health and Social Care, after evidence suggests that it could shorten the time to recover

Dr Stephen Griffin from the University of Leeds Medical School, said it was perhaps the most promising anti-viral for coronavirus so far

And that patients with the most severe disease would be likely to receive remdesivir first "Whilst this is clearly the most ethically sound approach, it also means that we ought not to expect the drug to immediately act as a magic bullet"

"We can instead hope for improved recovery rates and a reduction in patient mortality, which we hope will benefit as many patients as possible"