HHS says Gilead, distributor can directly sell COVID-19 drug in U.S.

FILE PHOTO: Gilead Sciences Inc pharmaceutical company in Oceanside, California, U.S., April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said on Thursday that U.S. hospitals can now buy Gilead Sciences Inc’s antiviral COVID-19 drug remdesivir from the company and its distributor.

The drug, branded as Veklury, was being distributed across the United States by HHS.

Gilead said it is now meeting real-time demand for remdesivir in the U.S. and anticipates meeting global demand for the drug in October, even in the event of potential future surges of COVID-19.

Gilead donated courses of the drug after it was authorized in May for use in patients with a severe form of COVID-19. Trial data showed the antiviral drug helped shorten hospital recovery time.

AmerisourceBergen will continue to serve as the sole U.S. distributor of remdesivir through the end of this year and will sell the product directly to hospitals, Gilead said.

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel