Gilead recalls vials of COVID drug remdesivir over glass shards

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A pharmaceutical manufacturer recalled thousands of vials of its COVID-19 antiviral drug remdesivir after an internal investigation found they were contaminated with glass particles.

Gilead Sciences Inc. on Friday announced the pullback of the drug, sold under the brand name Veklury, shipped to hospitals nationwide in October and November.

“The administration of an injectable product that contains glass particulates may result in local irritation or swelling,” Gilead said in a statement 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.” 

A company official told Bloomberg

that 55,000 vials of remdesivir were recalled, enough to treat 11,000 hospitalized patients.

The company reportedly had plenty of supply on hand and the move would not impact access to the drug.

A total of 55,000 vials of remdesivir were recalled, according to Bloomberg.
POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Gilead Sciences Inc. fears the glass particle contamination could cause patients to have “local irritation or swelling.”
EPA/SASCHA STEINBACH
A lab technician loads bright stock filled vials of investigational coronavirus disease (COVID-19) treatment drug remdesivir at a Gilead Sciences facility in La Verne, California, U.S. March 11, 2020.
Despite recalling thousands of vials, Gilead Sciences Inc. claims the distribution of its COVID-19 antiviral drug will not be disrupted.
Gilead Sciences Inc/Handout via REUTERS

Gilead said it had not received reports of any adverse reactions related to the tainted supply, which was distributed to hospitals in October and November, according to the company.

Remdesivir is the only antiviral approved for the treatment of COVID-19 by the Food and Drug Administration.



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