Words by GOLD newsdesk
A new joint procurement agreement (JPA) for the COVID-19 antiviral treatment remdesivir has been signed by the European Commission and Gilead Sciences. The deal will ensure continued fast and equitable access to the treatment in all participating Member States across the European Union.
The antiviral, branded as Veklury, is used as a treatment for adult and adolescent patients with severe COVID-19, and it is the first therapeutic for the virus to be granted a second JPA by the European Commission. It was first procured in October 2020.
“We welcome this new JPA for Veklury, which will continue to help governments across Europe ensure they have rapid access to this critical treatment,” said Johanna Mercier, Chief Commercial Officer, Gilead Sciences. “Following the recent expanded indication to patients at risk for disease progression, Veklury now has the potential to help even more patients so we are pleased this JPA will help ensure Veklury is available for patients when they need it.”
At the end of last year, the European Commission expanded the indication for remdesivir to include adults who do not require supplemental oxygen and are at an increased risk of progressing to severe COVID-19. Originally, remdesivir was only recommended for use in adult and adolescent patients with pneumonia that required supplemental oxygen.
News of the renewed JPA will likely be welcomed by the medical community in Europe as COVID-19 cases continue to climb across the region. This week, the World Health Organization’s Regional Director for Europe Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge made a statement that revealed the region has seen a tripling of new COVID-19 cases over the past six weeks. Nearly three million new cases were reported during the week commencing 11 July 2022 alone, which accounted for nearly half of all new cases globally.