Lottery being considered for remdesivir, drug created by CA company to treat coronavirus

MARTINEZ, Calif. -- Imagine a lottery deciding whether you get medicine for the coronavirus. That's the conversation happening at health departments for how to decide who gets remdesivir.

This drug is the only drug shown to work against the coronavirus.

Doses of remdesivir have been sent to seven states, including California, but there's not much to go around.

RELATED: US study finds Gilead drug remdesivir works against coronavirus

So officials are struggling over how to distribute it, with California saying it could hold a lottery to decide who gets it.

Remdesivir is not known to prevent deaths, but it has helped patients get out of the hospital about four days earlier than they would have without it.

Alameda County has so far received the most doses of the drug with San Francisco and Santa Clara next, but 28 doses doesn't necessarily mean 28 people.

RELATED: Remdesivir seems to work against coronavirus. What's next?

A patient needs a few doses, so this would help three to five people.

The California Bay Area company that makes the drug, Gilead, donated the doses.

The federal government did not say how it decided where to send the drugs, but now states and counties are discussing who to give it to.

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