FDA Approves Remdesivir as Coronavirus Treatment

The FDA has officially approved Remdesivir, an antiviral drug from Gilead Sciences, as a treatment for the Coronavirus, according to CNBC. Thursday’s announcement makes Remdesivir the first approved Coronavirus drug nationwide. It was also one of the drugs used to treat President Trump during his recent hospitalization after he tested positive.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gilead has worked relentlessly to help find solutions to this global health crisis,” Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day said in a statement. “It is incredible to be in the position today, less than one year since the earliest case reports of the disease now known as COVID-19, of having an FDA-approved treatment in the U.S. that is available for all appropriate patients in need.”

Officials say the drug will be used to treat patients who are hospitalized and at least 12 years old. Remdesivir is given intravenously and reportedly shortens some patients’ recovery time. However, critics argue it is not actually saving lives. A recent World Health Organization study showed it had “little or no effect” on death rates when used on hospitalized patients.

The FDA approval comes as the U.S. set a new record yesterday for daily coronavirus cases. The country surpassed 77,000 cases in a 24-hour period, according to Yahoo News. The drug requires five days of treatment and costs $3,120 for Americans who have private health insurance. It can cost $2,340 for people who have government-sponsored health coverage.