Gov. Greg Abbott has announced that the Texas Department of State Health Services will distribute 120 additional cases of the antiviral drug remdesivir to 37 hospitals across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
These cases, provided through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, are part of the fifth round of distribution from the federal government.
The 368 cases allow for the treatment of approximately 1,472 patients, making this distribution the largest so far and bringing the total number of cases distributed to Texas hospitals to 977.
"The Lone Star State is committed to providing our health professionals with the resources they need to care for Texans who contract COVID-19," Governor Abbott said. "Thanks to the continued assistance from our partners at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, hospitals across Texas remain equipped to respond to COVID-19. As we continue in our efforts to combat this virus, the state of Texas remains committed to prioritizing the health and safety of our communities."
The latest news from around North Texas.
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.
Due to the limited supply of the medication, distributions are prioritized towards severely ill patients in facilities with ICUs, and hospitals without ICU beds were excluded from the distribution.
Children's hospitals are eligible in this round of distributions due to the powder formulation 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: 11
- Dallas: 63
- Dention: 3
- Ellis: 2
- Grayson: 2
- Hunt: 1
- Rockwall: 2
- Tarrant: 36