Governor Greg Abbott
From the Office of Governor Greg Abbott
Today, Governor Greg Abbott announced that the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is distributing seven additional cases of the antiviral drug remdesivir to five hospitals across the East Texas region. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provided these cases to DSHA. It will bring the total number of instances distributed by DSHS to Texas hospitals to 484. Last week, DSHS distributed six initial cases across the East Texas region.
“The Lone Star State continues to prioritize our fellow Texans’ health and ensure that medical providers across the state have the supplies needed to respond to COVID-19,” said Governor Abbott. “I am grateful to our partners at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for providing these cases of remdesivir to communities across the state of Texas. Texas will continue to act swiftly to provide for our hospitals, secure treatment for patients, and slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Remdesivir has shown promise in early trials in speeding up the recovery time among hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The medication is being distributed according to COVID hospitalizations at the county level to ensure it is getting to where it is most needed. Additionally, the powdered formulation allows for pediatric patients’ treatment, so it includes children’s hospitals in the distribution.
DSHS reviewed the distribution methodology with the Infectious Disease Task Force Rapid Assessment Subcommittee, Texas Hospital Association, and the chair of the Texas Health Care Industry Strike Force on COVID-19. All three groups were supportive of the methodology, as proposed with the data available.
Medical staff at each hospital will determine the use of the drug. However, it must be prescribed by 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 diseases, 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 placebo. The supply is part of a donation from drug maker Gilead.