Tag: donation

Part of Gilead's coronavirus drug donation allocated to Japan

Part of Gilead’s coronavirus drug donation allocated to Japan

By Rocky Swift

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan has begun treating severely ill COVID-19 patients with Gilead Sciences Inc’s <GILD.O> coronavirus drug remdesivir, days after granting emergency approval to the medication the company is supplying as part of its pledged donation.

Japan’s approval a week ago of remdesivir as a treatment for COVID-19 followed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s emergency authorization of the antiviral drug on May 1.

At that time, Foster City, California-based Gilead reiterated plans to donate 1.5 million doses of remdesivir – enough to treat at least 140,000 patients – “to help address the urgent medical needs posed by this pandemic around the world.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Saturday said Gilead had committed to supply U.S. hospitals with about 607,000 vials of remdesivir, about 40% of the total 1.5 million-vial donation. After doctors had questioned the transparency of the allocation process, the

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Senators, activists urge FDA to revise blood donation policy for gay, bisexual men amid coronavirus pandemic

Senators, activists urge FDA to revise blood donation policy for gay, bisexual men amid coronavirus pandemic

Democratic senators and gay rights advocates are calling on the federal government to loosen restrictions on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, citing the recent blood shortages caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic as a catalyst for change.

The Food and Drug Administration’s current recommendations restrict men who have sex with men, commonly referred to as MSM, from donating blood within 12 months of their last sexual encounter. The policy harkens back to the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s, which disproportionately impacted MSM.

While this policy is a more relaxed version of the previous outright ban on all MSM donations, many are hoping blood screenings and advanced technology could prompt the agency to rethink its regulations.

In a letter to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, 17 Democratic senators urged the agency to update its 12-month deferral policy, calling it “stigmatizing” and “discriminatory.”

“As such, it is imperative that we move

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US faces blood shortage as donation sites shutter

US faces blood shortage as donation sites shutter

<span>Photograph: Karen Ducey/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Karen Ducey/Getty Images

As the coronavirus outbreak spreads across the US, a dangerous blood shortage threatens to create another public health crisis – with one medical director warning: “This could kill our patients.”

Coronavirus control methods mandate social distancing that has ranged from banning in-person seating in restaurants to closing schools to issuing shelter-in-place orders. Many places where blood donation might take place – such as campuses and libraries – are presently shuttered.

The result has been a disaster for blood donation as the medical sector finds its blood supplies running out.

The American Red Cross said that as of 19 March, more than 5,000 of its blood drives were canceled across the US over coronavirus concerns – resulting in approximately 170,000 fewer donations. More than 80% of donated blood collected from the Red Cross is from drives at places closed for social distancing: workplaces, schools, and college campuses.

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