The World Health Organization is working to verify reports that the United States is hoarding the antiviral coronavirus drug remdesivir.
“We're aware of the reports in the media around this purchase or procurement of remdesivir stocks, and we're obviously working through our colleagues and our partners and the access to Covid Tools Accelerator to clarify and verify this this report,” Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO executive director of Health Emergencies Program, told a briefing Wednesday.
What is this about: On Monday, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it had secured 100% of drug-maker Gilead's projected production for July, and 90% of its production for August and September, plus more for clinical trials.
“Obviously, there are many people around the world who are very sick with this disease and we want to ensure that everybody has access to the necessary lifesaving interventions,” Ryan said.
“We are fully committed as an organization, and with our partners to equitable access to life saving interventions,” he added.
Ryan said WHO continues to work with the United States — even though President Trump has said he has split with the organization. “We are grateful for and continue to engage with our technical counterparts in the United States on all matters related to science and public health,” he said.
Speaking directly about the remdesivir situation and WHO’s contact with the United States, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “We’re in contact and we’re still discussing and there are collaborations. It’s not specific to one thing that you raised, but on many issues.”