Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Gilead has worked diligently to ramp up production and rapidly expand the supply of our investigational antiviral drug Veklury® (remdesivir) by making significant investments to increase internal manufacturing capacity, expand our contract manufacturing network and implement process improvements. While working to increase our manufacturing capacity over these past months, the company also donated 1.5 million vials of Veklury and provided clinical drug supply at no cost for evaluation as an investigational agent in clinical trials around the world. As a result of the decision to make early investments to increase Veklury manufacturing efforts, Gilead is now meeting real-time demand for Veklury in the United States and anticipates meeting global demand for Veklury in October, even in the event of potential future surges of COVID-19.
Starting on October 1, Gilead will be responsible for distributing Veklury in the United States upon conclusion of the previous distribution agreement with the U.S. Federal government. To ensure stable management of drug supply in the near term, AmerisourceBergen will continue to serve as the sole U.S. distributor of Veklury through the end of this year and will sell the product directly to hospitals. This distribution model closely reflects the traditional model hospitals use to procure medicines. Hospitals will control the quantity of Veklury that they order, enabling them to have ample, predictable supply of Veklury in advance of any anticipated increase in COVID-19 incidence.
Results from three randomized, controlled clinical trials have consistently demonstrated the clinical benefits of Veklury. These data support the use of Veklury as a standard of care in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The increased supply of Veklury will expand access to the medicine to additional appropriate patients with COVID-19, offering the potential for patients to recover faster and, in turn, increase healthcare provider capacity and reduce healthcare system costs.