The U.S. government has secured a supply of the drug remdesivir, which may reduce the recovery period for patients with COVID-19, the Health and Human Services (HHS) department announced Monday.
“President Trump has struck an amazing deal to ensure Americans have access to the first authorized therapeutic for COVID-19,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement released Monday, adding that the U.S. government would work to ensure every patient who needed the drug could get it.
HHS said it has secured over 500,000 courses of the drug through September.
Studies have shown that remdesivir helps reduce the recovery period in patients with COVID-19. One of the first to show effectiveness against COVID-19 in humans, the drug was given emergency use authorization by many countries, including the U.S., and is presently being administered intravenously through daily infusions at hospitals.
Remdesivir has been used with “promising results” to treat Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), according to the World Health Organization. Both MERS and SARS are caused by coronaviruses, indicating the drug may be helpful in treating patients with COVID-19.