Hospitals running short of remdesivir for COVID-19 patients

Houston Methodist hospital in June restricted remdesivir to only those patients who were not yet on ventilators, in the hope of making the supply last longer. Even with those narrowed criteria—and with enough vials to treat 200 more patients delivered last weekend—there still is not enough.

Houston Methodist hospital in June restricted remdesivir to only those patients who were not yet on ventilators, in the hope of making the supply last longer. Even with those narrowed criteria—and with enough vials to treat 200 more patients delivered last weekend—there still is not enough. COVID-19 inpatients jumped from around 200 in May to over 700 in July, and the flow of the drug has not kept up. "We are on the verge of running out," said Katherine Perez, an infectious disease pharmacist at the hospital. Other hot spot states are feeling such shortages as well. It is the latest in a long string of issues plaguing the U.S. government's distribution of remdesivir. Soon after a clinical trial revealed the drug could shorten coronavirus patients' recovery, federal officials started sending cases of it directly to medical centers, but some overwhelmed centers were skipped over, while less burdened places received shipments. The government has tried to course-correct by collecting COVID-19 patient numbers from hospitals, using those data to determine how much of the drug should be sent to each state and territory, and then letting each one's health department further parcel out its allocation.