Texas Hospitals to Receive Promising COVID-19 Drug
By David Doolittle

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Fifteen Texas hospitals will receive a limited supply of the antiviral medication remdesivir, which has shown promise in speeding recovery of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, state health officials said today.

The hospitals are located in 14 communities throughout Texas, including Amarillo, Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, El Paso, Houston, Laredo, and Tyler, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) said.

The U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Department sent Texas 30 cases of remdesivir, enough to treat approximately 120 patients, DSHS said. Each hospital will receive at least one case, which contains 40 vials of the drug.  

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,” DSHS said in a statement.

Patients in a preliminary clinical trial who received remdesivir recovered in 11 days on average versus 15 days with a placebo, DSHS said. However, “those preliminary results did not show significant survival benefit.”

DSHS consulted on the rationale for distribution with the Texas Hospital Association, Texas Medical Association, and the Rapid Assessment Subcommittee of the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response.

The distribution in Texas ensures “that patients in regions across the state will have access to the drug while providing additional supplies to areas that have had more COVID-19 cases,” DSHS said. “Additionally, some hospitals in Texas are able to receive remdesivir through clinical trials or the manufacturer’s expanded access program. Where that’s the case, the state supply is being directed to other facilities in the area.”

There still is no proven effective treatment of COVID-19.

Remdesivir, “an investigational broad-spectrum antiviral treatment administered via daily infusion for 10 days … has shown promise in animal models for treating SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) infection,” the National Institute of Health said.

HHS began distributing remdesivir to states last week.

“Health care providers interested in administering the donated experimental drug should contact their state health department,” HHS said.

The following hospitals and health care systems will receive at least one case of remdesivir:

  • Amarillo: Northwest Texas Healthcare System, 2 cases
  • Austin: Dell Seton Medical Center, 3 cases
  • Corpus Christi: CHRISTUS Spohn Health System, 1 case
  • Dallas: Parkland Memorial Hospital, 4 cases
  • El Paso: University Medical Center, 2 cases
  • Fort Worth: John Peter Smith Hospital, 3 cases
  • Houston: Ben Taub Hospital & Memorial Hermann Hospital System, 6 cases
  • Laredo: Laredo Medical Center, 1 case
  • Lubbock: University Medical Center, 1 case
  • McAllen: South Texas Health System, 1 case
  • Odessa: Medical Center Hospital, 1 case
  • San Antonio: University Hospital System, 3 cases
  • Tyler: Mother Frances Hospital, 1 case
  • Waco: Providence Health Center, 1 case 

In April, TMA’s COVID-19 Task Force  published a frequently asked questions (FAQ) on COVID-19 treatment, based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DSHS, and other public health organizations. 

In addition, the Task Force has created FAQs on infection prevention and control and testing for COVID-19

You can find these FAQs on TMA’s COVID-19 Resource Center, which is updated regularly with the latest news, resources, and government guidance on the coronavirus outbreak.

 

Last Updated On

May 12, 2020

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David Doolittle

Editor

(512) 370-1385

Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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