Amid COVID medication shortage, doctors warn: 'We are forced to choose who to give it to'

Doctors are harshly criticizing the Health Ministry over the shortage of Remdesivir and Paxlovid, as there is no other effective medication available for severe coronavirus cases, leaving them with no alternative but to prioritize and allocate the limited supply

Three weeks after Ynet published a report highlighting the shortage of COVID-19 medications, particularly Remdesivir, the main medication for treating severe cases, hospitals are harshly criticizing the Health Ministry, and claiming that they are forced to decide which patients will receive the medication.
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The shortage is occurring against the backdrop of the rise in respiratory infections and diseases such as influenza, RSV, and COVID-19. Additionally, there is a shortage of Paxlovid, another medication used to treat COVID-19 patients.
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תרופה נגד קורונה
תרופה נגד קורונה
COVID medication shortage
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Remdesivir is not included in the standard inventory of medications and is supplied separately to hospitals. Practically, it allows for the relatively straightforward prevention or delay of its supply to them or pharmacies.
"Due to our demand, the Health Ministry managed to deliver small quantities of Remdesivir," says a senior doctor in one of the hospitals. "I received a small amount and am expected to receive an additional amount, so we haven't had a patient we couldn't treat yet. However, everything is very precarious. Remdesivir is unavailable outside the hospitals, and we used to send people home with Remdesivir for outpatient treatment. Now we have to hospitalize them instead. I hear from colleagues that there is indeed a shortage."
"This is a financial issue, and the ministry, to the best of my knowledge, is trying to solve it. This is a very significant medication, and it is the only antiviral for severe COVID-19 cases. Various studies have shown that this medication has successfully reduced mortality and the need for ventilation in severe COVID-19 patients by almost 50%. Some studies reported less impressive results, but almost every study showed the medication's effectiveness in preventing severe illness and death. It is crucial to have such intervention that can save a person from death – and I don't have it," the doctor added.
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