The federal government finally announced initial plans to distribute Gilead's coronavirus drug remdesivir after days of confusion

  • The federal government on Saturday announced initial plans for distributing a promising coronavirus drug, remdesivir.
  • The drug, manufactured by Gilead Sciences, was authorized for emergency use last week, but doctors and hospitals weren't sure how they were going to get it.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services now say the drug is first being distributed to health departments in some hard-hit states, and the departments can distribute it to hospitals as they see fit. 
  • Eventually, HHS expects the drug to be delivered to all 50 states, terrorities, the Veterans Health Administration and the Indian Health Service. 
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The federal government released its initial distribution plans today for the promising coronavirus drug, remdesivir, which was approved for emergency use last week. 

The drug, donated by manufacturer Gilead Sciences, "will be used to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients in areas of the country hardest hit by the pandemic," the US Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) said in a press release.

On May 7, ASPR started the process of delivering cases of the drug, which contain 40 vials each, to Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, and New Jersey. Cases have already been sent to Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia.

How many cases of the drug each state gets varies, with New York receiving 565 cases, for example, and Iowa receiving 10. The government's press release contains a full list of how much of the drug each state is getting.

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