The FDA has granted emergency approval for the drug, Remdesivir, to help treat COVID-19.
Hundreds of thousands of doses are supposed to be distributed across the country.
But states like Texas and others are still waiting to find out when.
Remdesivir isn’t a cure, but early studies show it can help patients recover faster.
The federal government has shipped cases of the drug to Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan and New Jersey.
Now, Texas and other states are waiting to find out when they’ll receive theirs.
Clinical trials of the drug suggest it can speed up recovery time for COVID-19 patients. Now the question is, how fast can it get into the hands of local healthcare professionals?
[REPORTER: “How soon can we be getting supplies of Remdesivir here in North Texas?”]
“You know that’s a great question. As you know, it was yesterday, finally the Health and Human Services said we’re going to distribute the 607,000 vials that Gilead donated,” said Steve Lowe, with the DFW Hospital Council.
The company, Gilead Sciences Inc., is donating the 607,000 vials of Remdesivir in the U.S. It’s part of 1.5 million vials being donating worldwide.
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Love said they’re still waiting to hear how much Remdesivir the federal government will ship to the state, and when.
“I’m not sure how many of that 607,000 will come to Texas, but we certainly hope we get our fair share,” he said.
Once it arrives, Love said it’ll be up to the state to determine which hospitals receive it. Patients receiving it must be on a ventilator.
“Or they need to meet certain supplemental oxygen requirements to even use this medication,” Love explained.
Now, while hospitals await a significant amount of the medication, some have already been experimenting with what they have.
“Parkland, Baylor Scott & White, Methodist, UT Southwestern. I know they’re doing clinical trials using this medication. That’s separate and distinct from the 607,000 doses that’ll be donated,” Love said.
And it’s not a single-dose medication. The 607,000 vials will treat an estimated 78,000 patients.
Currently, Love said area hospitals are running at about 65 percent capacity in beds, but as social distancing measures are gradually being lifted across the state, they’re watching closely to see if it results in more cases and more hospital visits.
“You know, we predicted this would probably the hot point that we would have,” he said. “What we don’t know now with the easing of restrictions, is that going to impact? We’ve just got to wait and see.”