Netherlands has shortage of Covid medicine Remdesivir
Dutch hospitals are currently unable to order virus inhibitor Remdesivir, used to treat the coronavirus. The last available doses were sent out on Sunday, public health institute RIVM and the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports said to Financieele Dagblad.
A spokesperson for the Ministry called the current shortage "very annoying". The Netherlands has been in talks about this with the European Commission for weeks, according to the newspaper. The EU purchases Remdesivir centrally and arranges distribution among the EU member states .
The RIVM and Ministry could not tell FD whether other European countries are also facing a shortage.
Last month, Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health said that the Netherlands' healthcare system was well prepared for the second wave of coronavirus infections, specifically mentioning that it was well stocked with Remdesivir.
Doctors are not yet alarmed by the shortage, according to FD. Mark de Boer, internist-infectiologist at LUMC who is involved in drawing up treatment guidelines for coronavirus patients, called the shortage "unpleasant" but "not a disaster".
Remdesivir was originally created to treat Ebola. In June, the European drug authorities approved the medicine for coronavirus patients hospitalized with breathing problems. On average, they recover faster after being given Remdesivir.
The studies on how effective the virus inhibitor is on Covid-19 patients are divided. According to Diederik Gommers, head of the Dutch association for intensive care NVIC, about half of the studies are positive and the other half show no difference with the control group. "Because the drug is not harmful, it is still given," he said, according to NOS.