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State of Texas distributing anti-viral drug Remdesivir to Jefferson County hospitals

The state initially received 30 cases of the drug last week which it distributed to 15 hospitals across the state.

AUSTIN, Texas — The State of Texas will be distributing an antiviral drug to Jefferson County hospitals to treat coronavirus.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced in a news release Wednesday that four cases of Remdesivir will be distributed to three hospitals in the county.

The drug, which has shown promise in early trials in shortening recovery times of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, were provided to the Texas Department of State Health and Human Services by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services according to the release.

The state initially received 30 cases of the drug last week which it distributed to 15 hospitals across the state the release said.

Distribution of the drug is based on the number of patients hospitalized  and in intensive care in each hospital region according to the release.

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Medical staff at each of the hospital will determine how they use the drug which must be prescribed in accordance with the Food and Drug Administration’s “emergency use authorization.”

The authorization allows for the drug’s use in the treatment of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 in adults and children hospitalized according to the release.

The average recovery time among patients who received Remdesivir was 11 days versus 15 days with a placebo according to preliminary results from a clinical trial.

The drugs were donated by the drug maker, Gilead.

From a news release from the Texas governor’s office…

Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is distributing four cases of the antiviral drug remdesivir to three hospitals across Jefferson County. These cases have been provided to DSHS through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Last week, DSHS sent an initial 30 cases of remdesivir it received from the federal government to 15 hospitals throughout the state the state. 

"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," said Governor Abbott. "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." 

Remdesivir has shown promise in early trials in speeding up the recovery time among hospitalized COVID-19 patients. To ensure the medication can quickly be used for patients across the state, the distribution is based on the number of patients in the hospital and in intensive care in each hospital region. Within those regions, allocations are based on the number of intensive care beds by hospital.

DSHS has consulted on the remdesivir distribution rationale with the Texas Hospital Association, Texas Medical Association, and the Rapid Assessment Subcommittee of the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response.

Medical staff at each hospital will determine how the drug will be used, though it must be prescribed in accordance with the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization, allowing for the treatment of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 in adults and children hospitalized with severe disease, such as those in intensive care. Preliminary results from a clinical trial showed the average recovery time among patients who received remdesivir was 11 days versus 15 days with a placebo. The supply is part of a donation from drug maker Gilead.

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