As it awaits the adoption and distribution of a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, Lebanon has received a batch of Remdesivir, an antiviral drug that has been used to treat severe cases of COVID-19 illness.
Lebanon’s Ministry of Public Health previously received two donations of the drug, in small amounts, through a Lebanese company, and from Egypt.
On Tuesday, 5,500 remdesivir shots reached Beirut through an agent. According to LBCI, the agent will distribute half of them among COVID-19 patients, while the rest will be sold in coordination with the Health Ministry.
The drug will sell at 760,000 Lebanese pounds per shot. It’s worth noting that each COVID-19 patient usually requires several shots of it (typically, six).
And to prevent the drug from being monopolized and sold in the black market, presenting a positive PCR test and a detailed medical report on the case of the patient will be required when purchasing it from pharmacies.
The Health Ministry will also keep watch to stop any attempts at selling remdesivir on the black market.
An additional batch of 5,500 remdesivir shots is expected to reach Lebanon over the next 3 weeks.
While the drug is certainly not an alternative to a vaccine and is not always effective in treating COVID-19 patients, it has been proven to speed up recovery from the infection, depending on the case.
This prompted the US’s Food and Drug Administration to approve it for the treatment of COVID-19 cases that require hospitalization.
Get the latest news and updates about the coronavirus outbreak in Lebanon along with a live monitor of cases in Lebanon as well as resources and information to help you guide the outbreak on our dedicated coronavirus page.