Oregon Health Authority to distribute Remdesivir to hospitals statewide!
Oregon has received its first shipments of Remdesivir, an experimental drug that has been used to treat patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19.
Oregon has received allotments of the drug, which has not been formally approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but is being used under a federally issued Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). (It’s not the same drug that President Trump wanted to use initially.)
The EUA allows health professionals to use the drug to treat a group of severely ill COVID-19 patients who meet clinical criteria. Remdesivir was developed by Gilead Sciences Inc. and has been tested in patients with various diseases, such as Ebola, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
Preliminary clinical testing by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease shows that some patients treated with the drug experienced faster recoveries.
Preliminary results, released in April, showed that individuals with advanced lung disease who received the drug recovered 31% faster than patients who did not. The study included 1,063 patients. Differences in the mortality rate were not statistically significant. Full study results have, thus far, not been published.
Providence St. Vincent and Providence Portland medical centers have been approved for clinical trials of the drug. More than 30 patients are being tested.
“Clinical observations by providers across the board have revealed patient improvements and, in particular, fever reduction, sped up by the drug. It has varied by the stage of the patients’ degree of illness at time of application. Those findings were confirmed in the recent preliminary data release by Gilead last week – patients were able to discharge 4 to 5 days sooner with drug therapy.” said Dr. Tobias Pusch, an infectious disease physician at Providence.
The allotments received by OHA included enough Remdesivir for 80 patients to receive a 10-day treatment course. As of May 16, this is enough to treat all currently hospitalized COVID-19 patients who meet eligibility criteria. OHA anticipates additional allotments of Remdesivir in the future, although the amount and timing are not known.
The drug will be distributed to hospitals immediately upon notification of an eligible patient and under specified terms of the Emergency Use Administration.
As of May 16, there were 56 people hospitalized with confirmed COVID 19. Among those 25 are being treated in an intensive care unit.
Further information on Remdesivir and it’s applications: Click here.