ADPH to distribute donated drug remdesivir hospitalized COVID-19 patients

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) received an allotment ofthe experimental drug remdesivir to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients.The medicine was received in Alabama today and the first shipments arebeing made overnight to hospitals in the state.

This was made possible by a donation by Gilead Sciences, Inc., throughthe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). At least one courseof treatment will be sent to each Alabama hospital which has reported apatient eligible for the drug.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said, “Although the total supplyof remdesivir is limited, we are grateful that hospitalized COVID-19 patientswith severe disease in Alabama can receive this potentially lifesavingmedication. Because the quantity is limited, the physician members of theGovernor’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Task Force determined a formula to distributethe allotment equitably among the state’s hospitals.”

The donated doses of the treatment received an emergency Use Authorization(EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for COVID-19 patientsin areas of the country hardest hit by the pandemic. The U.S. Departmentof Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparednessand Response announced the allocation plan for the drug.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. committed to supplying approximately 607,000 vialsof the experimental drug over the next six weeks to treat an estimated78,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients under theEUA granted bythe FDA. The donation to the U.S. is part of 1.5 million vials of remdesivirthe company is donating worldwide.

The National Institutes of Health and Gilead Sciences worked together toconduct a randomized controlled clinical trial of the investigational drugin hospitalized patients. Preliminaryresults suggestedthat remdesivir was associated with faster recovery, although the datawas not sufficient to determine if the drug was associated with lower mortality.

In addition to the donated doses for hospitalized patients in the UnitedStates and other countries, remdesivir also is available in the U.S. throughclinicaltrials. Initialallocations were sent to 13 states earlier in the month and week.

The FDA granted the EUAon May 1 allowing remdesivir to be administered by healthcare providersto treat suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in adults and childrenhospitalized with severe disease. Severe disease is defined as patientswith low blood oxygen levels or needing oxygen therapy or more intensivebreathing support such as a mechanical ventilator.