MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Vials of remdesivir are being shipped overnight to hospitals across Alabama to treat hospitalized COVID_19 patients, the Alabama Department of Health said Tuesday.
The drug, which was approved for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, was donated to the state by Gilead Sciences Inc., through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, officials said.
Officials said at least one course of treatment will be sent to each Alabama hospital that has reported a patient eligible for the drug. The physicians on Gov. Kay Ivey’s coronavirus task force came up with a formula to distribute the doses that were given to the state.
Health officials did not disclose details on what hospitals were receiving the drug.
The FDA’s grant of an emergency use agreement earlier this month allows remdesivir to be given to confirmed COVID-19 patients with severe disease, which is defined as patients with low blood oxygen levels, needing oxygen therapy or needing more intensive breathing support, such as a ventilator, according to ADPH.
Preliminary clinical trial results associate remdesivir with faster recovery times in COVID-19 patients, but it’s not known if the drug is associated with lower mortality rates, officials said.