Germany requests 5% of EU supply of remdesivir

FILE PHOTO: An ampule of Gilead Sciences COVID-19 antiviral remdesivir is pictured during a news conference at the University Hospital Eppendorf (UKE) in Hamburg, Germany, April 8, 2020. Ulrich Perrey/Pool via REUTERS

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany has requested around 5% of the supply of remdesivir under a six-month European Union supply deal, its health ministry said on Monday, despite criticism of the deal due to a lack of evidence about the antiviral drug’s effectiveness in treating COVID-19.

Berlin has requested 155,000 vials of remdesivir under the EU’s six-month deal to buy up to 3 million vials from U.S. drug maker Gilead, the ministry said in a statement.

A course of treatment for COVID-19 requires six doses and costs 2,070 euros ($2,407) per treatment, under the terms of the deal.

Medical experts have called on Brussels to renegotiate the 1 billion euro contract signed with Gilead last month after remdesivir showed poor results in a large trial conducted by the World Health Organization.

($1 = 0.8600 euros)

Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Susan Fenton