Ethical Allocation of Remdesivir

American Journal of Bioethics 20 (7):84-86 (2020)
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As the federal government distributed remdesivir to some of the states COVID-19 hit hardest, policymakers scrambled to develop criteria to allocate the drug to their hospitals. Our state, Michigan, was among those states to receive an initial quantity of the drug from the U.S. government. The disparities in burden of disease in Michigan are striking. Detroit has a death rate more than three times the state average. Our recommendation to the state was that it should prioritize the communities that bear a disproportionate burden of suffering in the allocation of the new potential treatment. This recommendation is justified not only for new drugs with uncertain effects, but also for drugs of certain benefit or vaccines. For states with significant health disparities, such as Michigan, this allocation priority may help to repair them. In fact, any other allocation strategy may make them worse
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Archival date: 2020-06-11
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