AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is distributing 81 cases of the antiviral drug remdesivir to 33 hospitals across Dallas and Fort Worth.
“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.”
The cases were 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 Texas.
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.