The Department of Health conducts an orientation process for administrators and executive directors of hospital facilities regarding the commercial acquisition of the antiviral Remdesivir. This drug has been used for the treatment of patients with COVID-19, under the emergency authorization (USA) of the Food and Drug Administration -FDA, for its acronym in English-.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the federal government has allocated donated supplies of Remdesivir to states and territories, including Puerto Rico; however, this process transitioned to its acquisition through the open market. That is why the Department of Health has been guiding hospital managers and administrators so that they acquire the drug and can continue to supply it to COVID-19 patients, “said the Secretary of the Department of Health in a written communication, Lorenzo González Feliciano.
For her part, Jessica Cabrera, director of the Department of Health’s Biosafety Office explained that “in preparation for the new process established by the federal government, hospitals were oriented and the transition process to purchase Remdesivir began, in anticipation of the completion of the donated drug. This process began on August 14, 2020 and, to date, about 25 hospitals have requested the acquisition of the drug, through the procedure established by the federal government, with the Department of Health being a facilitator of the process “.
The states and territories will receive an allocation of supplies that hospitals can purchase through the intermediary (vendor) designated by the Gilead company, manufacturer of the drug. This weekly allocation to states and territories is based on hospitals reporting to health departments the variables requested by the federal government, which include, but are not limited to the following: number of hospitalized patients, hospitalized with COVID-19, patients in intensive care, ventilator patients, among other variables.
“The current supply of donated medicine is 378 vials and it is a contingency reserve to maintain continuity of treatment for COVID-19 patients. This measure contemplates the possibility that an individual requires the start of treatment immediately and the acquisition process has not been completed under the new established procedure, ”added Cabrera.
The Department of Health has held meetings with coordinated care companies (insurers) and hospitals so that said treatment is provided to all patients who meet medical criteria, free of charge.
During the period of allocation by the federal government, the Department of Health received 113 boxes of Remdesivir. This allocation is equivalent to a total amount of 4,520 vials, which have been distributed to 39 hospitals, following established procedures.
The fact sheets, presentations and questionnaires to request the antiviral Remdesivir can be accessed through the page www.salud.pr.gov