Gilead recalling two lots of remdesivir in the US after complaint about glass particles in the vials


Gilead recalling of 55,000 vials of Covid-19 drug remdesivir in the US after complaint about glass particles

  • Gilead is recalling 55,000 vials of COVID-19 drug remdesivir in the US after after a complaint about glass particles was confirmed by a company investigation 
  • The recall is enough to treat 11,000 hospitalized patients, according to company spokesperson Chris Ridley 
  • Gilead released a statement saying it had no reported cases of adverse effects linked to the recall, which only impacted the US market 
  • The FDA had fully approved the antiviral drug for coronavirus treatment back in October 2020 
  • A Gilead study said remdesivir reduces the risk of death in severely ill coronavirus patients by 62 percent 
  • It was also one of among a cocktail of drugs used to treat then-President Donald Trump when he contracted the virus last year 










Gilead Sciences Inc. is recalling 55,000 vials of the COVID-19 drug remdesivir, pictured, in the US after after a complaint about glass particles was confirmed by a company investigation

Gilead Sciences Inc. is recalling 55,000 vials of the COVID-19 drug remdesivir, pictured, in the US after after a complaint about glass particles was confirmed by a company investigation

Gilead Sciences Inc. is recalling 55,000 vials of the COVID-19 drug remdesivir in the US after glass particles were found in the doses, the company said. 

The recall is enough to treat 11,000 hospitalized patients, according to company spokesperson Chris Ridley.

Ridley added the recall would not effect the company’s supply of remdesivir in the US or abroad, with the company saying the drug is well-stocked. 

Gilead released a statement saying it had no reported cases of adverse effects linked to the recall, which only impacted the US market. 

‘The administration of an injectable product that contains glass particulates may result in local irritation or swelling,’ Gilead said in the statement posted on its website. 

‘If the glass particulate reaches the blood vessels it can travel to various organs and block blood vessels in the heart, lungs or brain which can cause stroke and even lead to death.’

Remdesivir has been widely used as treatment for hospitalized COVID patients.

It was also used along with other drug cocktails to treat then-President Donald Trump when he contracted the virus last year. 

Pictured: Gilead sign at their headquarters in Silicon Valley; Gilead Sciences, Inc. is an American biotechnology company that researches, develops and commercializes drugs

Pictured: Gilead sign at their headquarters in Silicon Valley; Gilead Sciences, Inc. is an American biotechnology company that researches, develops and commercializes drugs

The FDA had fully approved the antiviral drug for coronavirus treatment in October 2020.

In July 2020, the US government had bought nearly all of the global supply of remdesivir. 

By August of that year, Gilead said it was producing 50 times the amount of remdesivir than it did when it hit the markets that October.

A Gilead study said remdesivir reduces the risk of death in severely ill coronavirus patients by 62 percent.

Manufactured by California-based Gilead Sciences Inc, the medication was the only one approved for emergency use in the US to treat severely ill COVID-19 patients. 

Remdesivir, sold under the brand name Veklury, was developed by Gilead Sciences to treat Ebola, the deadly hemorrhagic fever that emerged in West Africa in 2014. 

It works by blocking an enzyme that helps the coronavirus make copies of itself and, in turn, spread throughout the body.

A Gilead study said remdesivir, a vial of which pictured above, reduces the risk of death in severely ill coronavirus patients by 62 percent

A Gilead study said remdesivir, a vial of which pictured above, reduces the risk of death in severely ill coronavirus patients by 62 percent

In cell and animal models, studies showed the drug blocked the activity of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), which are cousins of the new virus.

For hospitals that happen to have vials of the recalled drug, Gilead said to return it to them per instructions in the recall notices that were sent out to health facilities. 

Dr John Beigel, associate director for clinical research in the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the NIH’s National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said the drug prevents the virus from replicating, which helps the patient ‘get ahead’ and fight off the infection because it is not ‘as rampant.’

Remdesivir is given intravenously to patients aged 12 or older in a five-day treatment course using six vials of the medication.

Gilead Sciences is also developing a nebulized form of the drug, but says it cannot produce a pill form because the chemical makeup would cause liver damage.

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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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