Gaane updates SP on Remdesivir purchase says City IATF Logistic Cluster has been requested to secure

COUNCILOR Maria Lourdes S. Gaane, chair of the City Council committee on health and health insurance, on Monday said JR Borja General Hospital (JRBGH) doctors have already requested the City IATF Logistic Cluster to secure a Compassionate Special

Permit (CSP) for the purchase of 1,000 vials of Remdesivir for critical COVID patients, as the city is now preparing to allocate P5 million for the purpose.

In her special report during the regular session Monday presided over by Vice Mayor Raineir Joaquin V. Uy, Councilor Gaane however clarified that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved Remdesivir as a treatment for COVID-19.

According to Councilor Gaane, FDA has not issued a Certificate of Product Registration or Emergency Authority (EUA) for the use of the anti-viral drug but only a CSP to physicians or hospitals to use the investigational drug.

A CSP can only be requested by physicians in charge or by the institution where patients are being treated who takes full responsibility for the use and dispensing of the drug.

“An approved CSP is not an assurance of the product’s quality, safety. Thus, no product granted with CSP can be marketed commercially,” Gaane explained.

Despite the advisory of the FDA regarding the anti-viral drug, Councilor Gaane said some hospitals in Luzon were able to secure CSP, allowing them to purchase Remdesivir.

She said the DOH however warned that the price of Remdesivir should not exceed P8,200 per vial.

PHILHEALTH

According to Gaane, PhilHealth pays a case rate of P43,000 for COVID-19 patients confined at the JRGBH. At an average cost of P5,000 per dose (minimum six doses) that would cost P30,000 per patient, she cited.

However, Gaane said PhilHealth does not pay drugs not listed in the latest Philippine National Formulary and would consider it a violation of PhilHealth protocols.

“Usually, it would deny the particular claim . . . for Remdesivir; it would not do that. Instead, it would just deduct the drugs’ cost from total PhilHealth benefits payable,” Gaane explained.

She expressed hopes that the city will have the financial capacity to sustain the procurement of Remdesivir for as long as it is needed.

“Rest assured of this representation’s support for this worthy undertaking in order to strengthen our COVID-19 mitigation efforts,” Gaane added.

It may be recalled that last week Councilor Edgar Cabanlas proposed the purchase of Remdesivir, citing that the stocks are running out in all hospitals due to the surge of the COVID-19 cases in the city.