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Gilead recalls 55,000 vials of COVID drug due to glass shards

Gilead Sciences Inc. said it was recalling two lots of its COVID-19 drug remdesivir in the US after receiving a complaint about glass particles in the vials that was confirmed by a company investigation.

The recall involves 55,000 vials of the drug, or enough to treat 11,000 hospitalized patients, company spokesman Chris Ridley said in an interview. He said the recall wouldn’t impact supply of the drug in the US or the rest of the world, as the company has plenty of supply on hand.

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In a statement, Gilead said that it had received no reports of adverse events linked to the recall, which has only affected the US market.

“The administration of an injectable product that contains glass particulates may result in local irritation or swelling, Gilead said in the statement posted on its website. “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.

Remdesivir, or veklury, is a mainstay treatment used for hospitalized COVID patients.

Gilead said that hospitals that have vials of the drug subject to the recall should not use them, and return them to the company according to instructions in the recall notices going out to health facilities.

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