TUESDAY, March 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Strong demand for medications that show promise as treatments for COVID-19 have led to shortages of those drugs in the United States.

The antiviral drug remdesivir is one of those medications. It is made by California-based Gilead Sciences, which noted “an exponential increase in compassionate use requests. This has flooded an emergency treatment access system,” CBS News reported. That overwhelming demand forced the company to put remdesivir on hold for compassionate use.

Another drug that has shown promise against COVID-19 is hydroxychloroquine, and lupus patients who rely on the drug are now facing dangerous shortages. “If people without symptoms are hoarding this medication, it means many lives may potentially be lost,” Brooklyn-based Jinesh Patel, M.D., told CBS News.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is allowing more testing of drugs that may be effective against COVID-19, and those on the front lines of the battle against the pandemic are eager for such testing to begin.

Meanwhile, in the United States, more than 50,000 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, with 100 new deaths reported on Monday alone, bringing the country’s death toll to 677, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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