Czech hospitals running out remdesivir for COVID-19 patients
Hospitals in the Czech Republic are running out of the drug remdesivir used for treating severe cases of COVID-19. Czech Radio – Radiožurnál reports based on information from the Section of Hospital Pharmacists and the Chief Physician of the Department of Anaesthesiology, Resuscitation and Intensive Care of the General University Hospital (VFN) Martin Balík.
Health Minister Roman Prymula said that his office is negotiating with the drug manufacturer, the American company Gilead Sciences, to deliver another batch of remdesivir by the end of this week. Ministry of Health spokeswoman Gabriela Štěpanyová said that there is currently enough remdesivir for all patients who need it.
“The indication has become stricter (reasons for the use of the drug, note, ed.) And we are negotiating with the Gilead company about the delivery of the drug, which should arrive this week,” Prymula said. The director of the Czech branch of Gilead Sciences, Pavel Březina, also told the radio that he was trying to get a remdesivir to the Czech Republic by the end of September.
If no further delivery arrived, the current supply of the drug would be consumed next week. “This is a significant problem because the drug has been validated for rapidly developing forms of coronavirus infection and for patients who need to be connected to oxygen,” the doctor told Czech Radio.
According to the ministry, remdesivir is still available for patients who need it.
“However, with the current number of patients, its consumption is also growing, and therefore the next delivery must arrive in the coming days,” added a spokeswoman for the office.
According to Štěpanyová, the Ministry took all the steps necessary to ensure further drug supplies in time. “However, they are coordinated at the European Commission level based on estimates and the development of the disease in individual EU countries. We are in close contact with the representatives of the European Commission,” she said.
Due to the decrease in remdesivir stocks, the hospital pharmacists’ section published on its website the conditions of use of drugs in case there would be a shortage in hospitals. Among the indications for remdesivir administration by pharmacists is that the patient is not on pulmonary ventilation and has not had symptoms of COVID-19 for more than five days.
Recently, however, the number of hospitalizations in the Czech Republic has increased significantly. According to the Ministry of Health’s latest data, the number of people who ended up in a hospital with COVID-19 has risen roughly fivefold to 802 since Saturday, beginning to 802. The number of hospitalized people in serious condition has increased more than fivefold.
According to the ministry, there are 181. There are almost three hundred more infected in hospitals this week alone.