After the manufacturer of Remdesivir gave the government a stockpile of the first drug found to be effective in treating the coronavirus, the Trump administration fumbled its distribution and caused unnecessary delays in treatment to severely ill patients, The Washington Post reports. Gilead Sciences said in May they’d donate 1.5 million vials of the in-demand antiviral drug to treat up to 200,000 patients worldwide. The FDA granted emergency use authorization for the medication, regarded as the “first glimmer of hope” in a potential treatment, The Daily Beast previously reported.
However, a portion of the first round of 607,000 vials given to the U.S. government was allocated to the wrong hospitals—including those without ICUs or proper refrigerator storing capacity—and to hospitals without any patients in need of the drug, the Post reports. In some cases, medical institutions were caught off guard after receiving the drug because they were not told beforehand. “We think the earlier you get it when you’re critically ill, the more likely it is to be beneficial, so delays could end up making the difference between whether the drug is effective or not,” Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, told the Post.