SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea has started distributing stocks of the COVID-19 treatment remdesivir which have been donated by Gilead Sciences Inc and plans to begin talks to purchase more supplies in August, its disease control agency said.
“Patients who are eligible for remdesivir are limited to severe patients with pneumonia and in need of oxygen therapy,” the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said in a statement.
It did not disclose how many doses have been donated by the U.S. firm.
Gilead said on Monday it has priced remdesivir at $390 per vial in the United States and other developed countries and agreed to send nearly all of its supply of the drug to the United States over the next three months.
Based on current treatment patterns that equates to $2,340 per patient.
South Korea has reported a total of 12,850 coronavirus cases as of Tuesday with 282 deaths.
(Reporting by Sangmi Cha; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Edwina Gibbs)