Doctors ask for transparency on what hospitals have received remdesivir, FDA approved drug for COVID-19

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A week after the FDA authorized the use of Remdesivir to treat COVID-19 patients, doctors are concerned over the federal government's lack of transparency during its roll out.

Staff at UCSF's School of Pharmacy crowdsourced the information in search for answers.

"We couldn't get any knowledge publicly. We asked pharmacies across the country to report if they got it or didn't get it," said UCSF'S Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Peter Chin-Hong.

According to their findings, close to 25 hospitals received Remdesvir and not necessarily the ones that needed it the most.

RELATED: Stanford scientists explain what's next after FDA approves Gilead drug, remdesivir, for emergency COVID-19 use

"We found that there was no clear pattern. But then again we didn't do a full analysis and not everyone reported it yet. But there were hospitals from Boston to NY maybe NJ that got it, Tennessee," said Dr. Chin-Hong.

David Thiel's dad has been hospitalized for three weeks fighting COVID 19. He's hoping his dad gets a dose of Remdesvir soon.

"It's a matter of life and death now that's what we are all about making sure that he has a fighting chance," said Thiel.

Following the backlash, the White House appointed Dr. Deborah Birx to oversee distribution.

Friday night, Sen. Kamala Harris sent a letter to FEMA asking several question including:

How many hospitals have received Remdesivir?

RELATED: White House to direct supply of COVID-19 drug remdesivir amid access fears

What criteria is FEMA using to select hospitals?

Dr. Chin-Hong's says transparency is essential to avoid inequality during this pandemic.

"Rich people can probably find out which hospital have it and like force them to accept them as patients. But for people whose Spanish is not their primary language and who don't know about the science of the drug they won't even know how to ask for it," said Dr. Ching-Hong.

So far seven states have received the possibly lifesaving drug.

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