The Texas Department of State Health Services is distributing 88 additional cases of the antiviral drug remdesivir to 28 hospitals across the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
The cases were provided through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. An initial 81 cases of the drug were sent to hospitals around the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex last week, bringing the total number of cases distributed to Texas hospitals to 484.
"The Lone Star State continues to prioritize the health of our fellow Texans and ensure that medical providers across the state have the supplies needed to respond to COVID-19," Governor Abbott said. "I am grateful to our partners at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for providing these cases of remdesivir to communities across the state of Texas. Texas will continue to act swiftly to provide for our hospitals, secure treatment for patients, and slow the spread of COVID-19."
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According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, remdesivir has shown promise in early trials in shortening the recovery time of hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
The medication is being distributed according to COVID hospitalizations at the county level to ensure it is getting to where it is most needed. Additionally, the powdered formulation allows for the treatment of pediatric patients, so children's hospitals are included in the distribution.
DSHS consulted with the Infectious Disease Task Force Rapid Assessment Subcommittee, Texas Hospital Association, and the chair of the Texas Health Care Industry Strike Force on COVID-19 about the the distribution methodology of the drug. According to the DSHS, all three groups supported the methodology proposed with available data.
Medical staff at each hospital will determine how the drug will be used. However, the medication must be prescribed in accordance with the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization, which allows for the treatment of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 in adults and children hospitalized with severe diseases, such as those in intensive care.
During a clinical trial, preliminary results showed the average recovery time among patients who received remdesivir was 11 days. The average recovery time for patients who received a placebo was 15 days, the Texas DSHS said.
The supply of the medication is part of a donation from drug maker Gilead.
The remdesivir cases distributed to North Texas counties are:
- Collin: 6
- Dallas: 49
- Denton: 2
- Grayson: 1
- Rockwall: 2
- Tarrant: 28