Cyprus has received a quantity of Remdesivir, an anti-viral drug to treat patients with severe symptoms of Covid-19, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Thursday.
The minister said the drug was delivered to Cyprus on Wednesday.
“At the initiative of the European Commissioner (for health) Stella Kyriakides and through the joint procurement of the EU, we received yesterday a quantity of the drug Remdesivir, thus strengthening our arsenal in the fight against Covid-19,” Ioannou said in a post on social media.
Μετά από πρωτοβουλία της Ευρωπαίας Επιτρόπου @SKyriakidesEU και μέσω του joint procurement της #ΕΕ, παραλάβαμε χθες ποσότητα του φαρμάκου #remdesivir, ενισχύοντας έτσι το οπλοστάσιό μας στη μάχη κατά του #COVID19.#Cyprus #MoH pic.twitter.com/Fag8MbYOFY
— Constantinos Ioannou (@K_Ioannou) August 13, 2020
The EU announced late last month it had agreed to buy a limited supply of Remdesivir from U.S. drugmaker Gilead to address the short-term needs of European patients, and hoped to be able to order more later.
The anti-viral is the only drug so far authorised in the EU to treat patients with severe symptoms of Covid-19.
The EU Commission has agreed to pay €63m to buy enough doses to treat about 30,000 patients.
The Commission had said this batch would address “just immediate needs”, and that it was already working to secure new doses from October.
The health ministry had said last month that the EU’s joint negotiation for all member states strengthens the position of all countries, regardless of their size or bargaining power, by ensuring equal access to medicinal products, whether drugs or vaccine, at the same time and at the same rate.
The EU is also in negotiations with AstraZeneca, the company cooperating with Oxford University for the development of a Covid-19 vaccine. Cyprus has asked for 1.2 million Covid-19 vaccines, to also cover the Turkish Cypriot community.