An investigational antiviral medication called remdesivir received an emergency use authorization from the FDA earlier this month for potential use in Covid-19 treatment. This was granted after a clinical trial showed that remdesivir could shorten recovery time in some patients hospitalized with severe Covid-19 infections.
With this FDA authorization, remdesivir can be distributed in the U.S. and administered intravenously as treatment for severe cases, even though it is not yet officially approved for use. The medication’s manufacturer, Gilead Sciences, has stepped up by donating 940,000 doses to the federal government. This donation would treat up to 55,000 patients (with variation depending on the length of treatment needed). The federal government will ship the medication to state health departments which will then allocate them to medical centers.
Prior to remdesivir, physicians had been limited in treatment options for severe cases of Covid-19. This emergency use authorization was granted through the FDA’s new Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program which currently is reviewing 144 active trials of therapeutic agents, as well as another 457 developmental programs in the planning stages. As research continues at accelerated rates, each day we move closer to better treatments in the Covid-19 crisis.
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