ATLANTA, Ga. (WRBL) – The Georgia Department of Public Health will distribute a second allotment of remdesivir to 29 hospitals across the state. The first allotment was distributed to eight hospitals.
Remdesivir, an antiviral medicine, is currently being tested as a treatment for COVID-19 patients. It is used to treat symptoms caused by the coronavirus such as low oxygen levels or pneumonia. IT has been found to shorten the duration of the disease in patients being treated at hospitals and is given intravenously.
The GaDPH says that 3,440 vials of remdesivir, to treat about 310 patients, will be given to hospitals in the Navicent, Northside, Piedmont, and Wellstar healthcare systems.
Georgia hospitals that are receiving remdesivir reported 10 or more patients on ventilators in addition ot patients currently being treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, a macine that does the work of the heart and lungs. These patients have all tested positive for COVID-19, according to the DPH.
A third allotment of remdesivir in powder form is expected to arrive in Georgia on Friday. The liquid form is not recommended for use on child patients, but the powder can be mixed for dosing based on a child’s weight.
The DPH says Gilead Sciences, the company that produced remdesivir, is donating appromiately 607,000 vials of the experimental drug to treat an estimated 78,000 patients hospitalized for coronavirus treatment across the U.S.
Remdesivir has not been approved by the FDA yet for widespread use as it is still being studied. Clinical trials were initially done at Emory University Hospital.