Portugal has treated 133 patients with Remdesivir

in News · 30-07-2020 14:36:00 · 0 Comments

The National Health Service in Portugal (SNS) has treated 133 Covid-19 patients with the drug Remdesivir since the beginning of the new coronavirus pandemic, the National Medicines Authority (Infarmed) announced.

At the press conference on the evolution of the pandemic in the country, the president of Infarmed, Rui Santos Ivo, recalled that the drug - subject to a conditional authorisation from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the treatment of Covid-19 in adults and adolescents over 12 years old with pneumonia and who need oxygen - is being distributed as part of a “special access” programme.

“We have been able to ensure that the medicine is made available to patients for whom it has been prescribed. At the moment, 133 patients have been treated with remdesivir as of today (29 July) in the NHS. In this context, it was announced by the European Commission that additional quantities of the medicine will be made available”, he said.

The revelation of the president of Infarmed came after the announcement by the European Commission, in which it formalised a €63 million contract with the pharmaceutical company Gilead to ensure treatments with this antiviral in the European Union (EU). According to Rui Santos Ivo, the distribution among the different Member States will take into account epidemiological criteria.

“This is a quantity to satisfy the needs in this period of transition between the problem of early access and the normal availability of the drug. An allocation will be made by the European Commission, in conjunction with the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC), taking into account the epidemiological situation of the countries”, he stressed, ensuring that the SNS currently has “quantities available” of Remdesivir.

Still on medicines, the secretary of the Assistant State and Health, Jamila Madeira, revealed an increase in SNS spending on outpatient medicines between January and June this year to 683 million Euros, up 5.4 percent over the same period last year. SNS expenditure on medicines in the hospital sector, on the other hand, amounted to 671 million in the first six months of the year, that is, a growth of 1 percent.

“The pandemic context did not reduce the Portuguese people's access to medicines by the SNS. From January to July 2020, 36 new drugs have also been approved for use by users, with a particular focus on the areas of oncology, anti-infectives, cardiovascular and neurology, enabling more therapeutic options”, she said.

At the same time, Jamila Madeira stressed that the strategic reserve of medicines and devices - which includes medicines for the needs of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, as well as experimental medicines in use in hospitals - “will be reinforced in a decentralised manner with hospitals and centralised by Infarmed and the Military Laboratory”, as already included in the supplementary budget.


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