The Ministry of Health and Wellness, through the National Health Fund, will be spending $13 million to secure 800 dosages of the experimental Remdesivir drug used in the management of COVID-19 by next Wednesday, Dr Christopher Tufton has revealed.
According to the minister, the drugs will be administered under strict conditions, and permission must be given for its use by a patient’s next of kin.
The ministry has reviewed its position and will make the drug available to health professionals in the government sector after increasing calls for it to be made available to help manage the local COVID-19 outbreak.
Remdesivir is the generic name for the drug sold under the brand name Veklury and is administered via injection into the vein to patients in intensive care and who present with the worst effects of COVID-19. It was one of a combination of treatments given to now-recovered US President Donald Trump when he was being treated for COVID-19 earlier this month.
The drug was previously being sourced by local hospital pharmacies from overseas merchants on a per-prescription basis, but sourcing it privately, according to the Jamaica Pharmaceutical Society (JPS), may take two to three days to reach patients, and as a result, it wanted the Government to stock dosages.