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1 July 2020, 10:20
The US has bought the entire world's supply of COVID-19 drug Remdesivir and the UK won't have access to it until October says a top doctor.
The USA has bought the entire supply of COVID-19 drug Remdesivir and 90% of it for August and September, meaning the UK and the rest of the world won't have access to it until October, a senior doctor has told Sky News.
The drug is one of two being used to treat the virus and made almost entirely in North America, with the company that makes it, pharmaceutical giant, Gilead Sciences, agreeing to sell almost exclusively to the US.
Dr Andrew Hill told the news channel: "This deal that's been struck by America means that people with COVID-19 in the UK can't get access to these treatments that would get them out of hospital quickly and might improve their chances of survival."
"So far, we know that for the next three months there will be no supplies of Remdesivir - America will take the drugs and we won't have access to them. That's the case in the UK and Europe."
America bought the entire three month stock of Remdesivir. Meaning, there’s nothing left for the rest of the world until maybe October. I have some words, but I’m not gonna use them bc this is not a good time to get my twitter account taken down.— Ida Skibenes ❄️ (@ida_skibenes) July 1, 2020
People are taking to Twitter to express their disgust at the drug being prevented from being purchased by other countries in need of it.
Experts are also worried about the wider implications of the deal, such as if a vaccine becomes available if a similar deal could be struck.
One person wrote: "America bought the entire three month stock of Remdesivir. Meaning, there’s nothing left for the rest of the world until maybe October."
"I have some words, but I’m not gonna use them bc this is not a good time to get my twitter account taken down."