Location Plays Big Role in Patient Access to First Covid-19 Drug

Ref: Morningstar
  • Limited stock of Gilead Sciences' experimental antiviral remdesivir used to treat COVID-19 is arriving at hospitals, and location is a driving factor in whether a patient gets any as states, counties and hospitals in the US use different approaches to allocate their shares, as reported in Morningstar.

  • Doctors say the FDA's criteria for remdesivir use under its May 1 emergency authorization are broad and little published research points to who might benefit most.

  • Hospitals affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh decide who gets the drug by lottery designed to slightly boost chances of patients from economically distressed neighborhoods, said Doug White, a doctor at the University of Pittsburgh.

  • He added the lottery will also increase chances for essential workers, such as bus drivers, agricultural workers and grocery-store clerks.

  • Meanwhile, West Virginia hospitals will use the drug for patients on a "first come, first served" basis, while UW Medicine in Seattle is requiring anonymous patient applications, to avoid possible bias.

  • States took over allocations to specific hospitals after the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) faced criticism for its initial distribution. HHS will have shipped 80% of Gilead's initial donation of about 607,000 doses to states by the end of the week, the agency said.