Remdesivir Wins Approval as COVID-19 Treatment

Antiviral drug has been found to shorten recovery times
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2020 5:05 PM CDT
Remdesivir Wins Approval as COVID-19 Treatment
Rubber stoppers are placed onto filled vials of remdesivir at a Gilead Sciences manufacturing site.   (Gilead Sciences via AP)

(Newser) – Remdesivir on Thursday became the first fully approved treatment for COVID-19 in the US. The Food and Drug Administration had issued an emergency use authorization for the antiviral drug in May. FDA Commissioner made the announcement, CNBC reports. Remdesivir shortened recovery time for hospitalized patients; President Trump is among the patients who received it. The drug will be used more widely, per Axios, now that it has the government's full approval. It can be given to patients who are at least 12 years old and hospitalized.

"It is incredible to be in the position today, less than one year since the earliest case reports of the disease now known as COVID-19" of having a treatment approved by the FDA available, said the chief executive of Gilead Sciences, the drug's maker. A five-day course of treatment costs $2,340 for patients covered by government health programs, and $3,120 for US patients who have private health coverage. It sells under the brand name Veklury. Shares of Gilead rose more than 5% in after-hours trading Thursday. (Read more remdesivir stories.)

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