Coronavirus: US buys up almost entire world supply of COVID-19 drug Remdesivir
The US has bought up almost the entire global supply of one of two drugs used to treat coronavirus.
Remdesivir, which was developed to treat Ebola, is produced almost exclusively by US pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences - and it has been priced at $2,340 (£1,892) per patient in wealthier nations.
The company has agreed to send nearly all of its supply of the drug to the US over the next three months.
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This means remdesivir will not be available for use on patients in the UK and Europe until October, Dr Andrew Hill, a senior visiting research fellow at Liverpool University, told Sky News.
He said: "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.Advertisement
"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."
Low and middle-income countries can produce generic versions of the drug, but are unable to sell them to Europe because Gilead has a patent for it, he added.