The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) this week is distributing 18,440 vials of the drug remdesivir received from the federal government. Nearly 85 hospitals in Georgia (complete list below) will receive remdesivir, enough to treat about 1,676 patients with COVID-19 infection, depending on the duration of an individual’s illness and treatment needs.
Remdesivir is an antiviral medicine being used to treat hospitalized patients with serious symptoms caused by COVID-19 like low oxygen levels or pneumonia. It has been found to shorten the duration of disease in patients being treated in inpatient hospital settings. Remdesivir is given intravenously (IV) and decreases the amount of coronavirus in the body, helping patients recover faster.
Georgia hospitals receiving remdesivir had patients who met the federal criteria for treatment including COVID-19 positive patients on ventilators, in addition to patients currently being treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a machine that takes over the work of the heart and lungs.
Remdesivir has not been approved by the FDA for widespread use because it is considered investigational and it is still being studied. Remdesivir was originally developed for use against Ebola. Clinical trials for remdesivir were done in Georgia at Emory University Hospital.