The Texas Department of State Health Services is distributing 81 cases of the antiviral drug remdesivir to 33 hospitals across the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday.
The cases were provided through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; an initial 30 cases of the drug were sent to 15 hospitals around the state last week.
"The State of Texas is working swiftly to ensure our hospitals and medical providers have the resources they need to treat patients diagnosed with COVID-19," Abbott said. "I thank our partners at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for sending these cases of remdesivir to the state of Texas. Not only will this drug treat patients throughout the state, but it will especially bolster our mitigation and treatment efforts in communities experiencing surges in COVID-19 cases."
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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 distribution of the medication is based on the number of patients in hospitals and intensive care in each hospital region. Within those regions, allocations of the drug are based on the number of intensive care beds in each hospital, the Texas DSHS said.
DSHS consulted with the Texas Hospital Association, Texas Medical Association, and the Rapid Assessment Subcommittee of the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response about the distribution rationale of the medication.
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: 9
- Dallas: 39
- Denton: 5
- Tarrant: 28