Hours after Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted about a remdesivir shortage in several Florida hospitals, Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters he suspects some hospitals may be using it longer than suggested.
DeSantis stopped short of pointing fingers at any specific hospital, but he described the issue as the “number one thing” discussed yesterday with Vice President Mike Pence.
“We did have some treatments of it where you were going beyond the five days which obviously uses up more vials.” DeSantis said. “Basically, I think the White House’s view is, scientifically, we think the five day regimen can be beneficial. They don’t have much evidence that going beyond that tends to be beneficial.”
According to the Food and Drug Administration, remdesivir is an intravenously administered drug that “may shorten the recovery time” for COVID-19 patients by “decreasing the amount of the coronavirus in your body.”
DeSantis noted the importance of the drug and told reporters the drug shipment has been expedited.
“I spoke with the White House, the Vice President, and so the recent shipments were expedited,” DeSantis said.
On Twitter, Rubio also warned of a “bad disconnect” between the federal and state government, later citing the potential impact of drug shortages to the state’s availability of hospital beds.
“Shipments are coordinated by the federal govt & we have a bad disconnect between what they think we need & what we really need,” Rubio said, adding: “These numbers will get much worse if discharges slow down due to not enough doses of Remdesivir,” Rubio tweeted. “We can’t wait until July 27th for next allocation.”
The Governor disagreed with Rubio’s claim of a disconnect.
“I wouldn’t say there is a disconnect in terms of them understanding that this is something a lot of physicians are prescribing now,” DeSantis said, adding: “I think as this has come online, it’s kind of defaulted to the standard of care. So as people come in I think they are tending to get prescribed the remdesivir so we obviously want to help with that.”
DeSantis also noted a change of shipping procedures between the state and federal government.
Initially, Florida served as a middle-man for shipments. Now, however, shipments are delivered directly to hospitals.
“We want to get it as soon as possible,” DeSantis said. “I believe giving the doctors all the tools that are available is really what we need to do.”