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Florida hospitals in need of coronavirus drug

U.S. Representative Charlie Crist is calling on the Department of Health and Human Services to get a resupply of Remdesivir to Florida now.

TAMPA, Fla. — We know healthcare workers are constantly looking for new COVID-19 treatment options. One that's made headlines is Remdesivir. 

The thing is, right now, it's in short supply. 

That's why local U.S. Representative Charlie Crist, and 12 other members of Congress, are calling on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to get an expedited resupply of Remdesivir to Florida hospitals.

According to a news release, the Florida Department of Health recently told hospitals that our state has "exhausted its supply of the drug." 

Right now, Crist says if something is not done, hospitals in Florida could go six days without treatments. 

In the letter to Secretary Alex Azar, Crist also demanded specific details about the operation of the new model the HHS is set to implement on July 13 for the distribution of the drug so Floridians can get access to treatment. 

"According to health professionals we are hearing from, people will die without replenished stock of treatment," Crist wrote. "Recently, the State of Florida requested additional, emergency supplies of Remdesivir from HHS, and we strongly urge you to expedite consideration of this request."

On Tuesday, Sarasota Memorial Hospital highlighted just how difficult it is to get the drug. 

"The Remdesivir, it’s a little disappointing we can’t have more access to it. We were very proactive a month ago because we actually started the study because we wanted to gain access to a new and promising drug, and we did that very well," Dr. James Fiorica, Chief Medical Officer at Sarasota Memorial Hospital said. "Unfortunately, that study closed and moved into a more public eye, so it’s limited our access because of the shortage," says 

10 Tampa Bay has reached out to other hospitals as well. This story will be updated as we hear back.

You can read Representative Crist's letter below:

St. Petersburg, FL - U.S. Representative Charlie Crist (D-FL) and 12 Florida Members of Congress sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar calling for the expedited resupply of Remdesivir be sent to Florida as the state emerges as the new global epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

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