Coronavirus: Gilead recalls vials of COVID-19 drug remdesivir due to glass particles

Officials with Gilead Sciences Inc. on Friday announced a voluntary recall of two lots of its COVID-19 drug, remdesivir, after finding glass particles in some of the vials.

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The recall was announced after the company received a complaint from a customer about the glass, officials said. An investigation subsequently confirmed the issue.

“The administration of an injectable product that contains glass particulates may result in local irritation or swelling in response to the foreign material,” Gilead officials said in a statement posted online. “If the glass particulate reaches the blood vessels it can travel to various organs and block blood vessels in the heart, lungs or brain which can cause stroke and even lead to death.”

The company said Friday that it had not received any reports of adverse events related to the recall.

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Gilead spokesman Chris Ridley told Bloomberg News that 55,000 vials of the drug were being recalled Friday, enough to treat 11,000 patients. He added that the recall would not impact the available supply of remdesivir, which is marketed as veklury, as many more vials are available, according to Bloomberg.

Remdesivir is used to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients who are 12 years old and older. It was one of the drugs given to President Donald Trump when he was diagnosed with COVID-19 last year.

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Hospitals using remdesivir were advised to stop using the lots under recall immediately. Company officials said consumers who have experienced problems that they think might be related to the recalled drug should contact their physician or healthcare provider.