Aadia Rana, an infectious disease doctor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s hospital, said her facility isn’t sure if it will able to restock through the expanded access program after its current inventory runs out. “This of course puts us in a Catch-22 with regards to distributing our available limited supply,” she said.
Rana said that AmerisourceBergen told the hospital that it may receive remdesivir in the future through the new government distribution program, however.
U.S. doctors are also watching to see how demand for the drug globally affects the available supply. Gilead said it would donate 1.5 million doses, or enough for about 140,000 people, for use worldwide. It’s not clear what percentage of those doses will go to U.S. hospitals. Japan on Thursday became the second country to authorize use of remdesivir based on data from the NIAID trial, and European regulators are reviewing the drug.
In the meantime, American doctors like Feinberg are left frustrated and wondering about how many of their patients will have access to a potentially life-saving medicine — and who will make that choice.
“Who the hell is the decisionmaker?” she said. “Is it HHS or some other part run by some political crony? We don’t have any information that there’s any kind of fairness, and when [the drug is] in short supply, fairness is paramount.”
Sarah Owermohle contributed to this report.