Dutch hospitals have run out of leading coronavirus treatment
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Dutch hospitals have run out of leading coronavirus treatment

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Hospitals in the Netherlands have used up all their stock of remdesivir, the first drug for treating severe Covid-19 patients to receive approval from the EU.

Dutch health authorities confirmed media reports that the country was out of the antiviral and said that it was expecting to receive new stocks by Tuesday or Wednesday.

Large stocks of the US-made drug were purchased by the EU executive for member states after the bloc’s drug agency endorsed its use for hospitalised and critically ill coronavirus patients.

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An initial €63 million deal struck with manufacturer Gilead in August secured some 30,000 doses of the antiviral while a larger deal to secure a steady supply from October onwards was in the works.

Officials from the Dutch Health Ministry had approached EU Commission officials in recent weeks to warn that a rise in coronavirus hospitalisations was putting central remdesivir stocks under stress, De Standaard reports.

Doctors in Dutch hospitals have called the drug shortage “unpleasant” but said that the situation is not yet alarming.

A spokesperson for Belgium’s drugs agency AFMPS did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Remdesivir received EU approval in June for use on hospitalised patients with severe symptoms of Covid-19 after studies and trials showed that the use of remdesivir sped-up their recovery.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times