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Texas governor, DSHS distribute antiviral drug to treat COVID-19 in Texarkana

Coronavirus

AUSTIN, Texas (KTAL/KSHV) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott today announced that Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is distributing two cases of the antiviral drug Remdesivir to two hospitals in Texarkana.

Remdesivir has shown promise in early trials in speeding up the recovery time among hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The drugs were provided to DSHS through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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.

To ensure the medication can be quickly used for patients across the state, the distribution is based on the number of patients in the hospital and intensive care in each hospital region. Within those regions, allocations are based on the number of intensive care beds by hospital.

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.

DSHS 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.

Last week, DSHS sent an initial 30 cases of Remdesivir it received from the federal government to 15 hospitals throughout Texas.

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