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EU signs COVID-19 drug procurement deal with Gilead

The new contract comes as Europe battles a burgeoning COVID wave spearheaded by the Omicron offshoot, BA.5

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The European Commission has signed a joint procurement contract for an antiviral treatment for patients with COVID-19 with Gilead Sciences, it said yesterday.

This is the second contract for the drug, branded as Veklury, which is approved in Europe to treat COVID patients who are at high risk of experiencing a severe case of the disease, as well as patients who have pneumonia and require supplemental oxygen.

Altogether, 22 EU member states and countries are participating in the joint procurement, under which they can purchase up to 2,250,000 vials. The last contract for Veklury ended in April.

The new contract comes as Europe battles a burgeoning COVID wave spearheaded by the Omicron offshoot, BA.5.

Close to three million new COVID-19 cases were reported in the European region last week, which accounted for nearly half of all new cases, globally.

Hospitalisation rates have doubled over the same period, and close to 3,000 people die of the disease every week, Hans Kluge, Regional Director, Europe, WHO, said yesterday.

Edits by EP News Bureau

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