SALEM, Ore --- Oregon has received remdesivir. Providence St. Vincent and Providence Portland medical centers are doing their own clinical trials with the drug. The hospitals have tested 30 patients.
“The Oregon Health Authority is committed to distributing Oregon’s allotment of remdesivir to Oregon hospitals for the treatment of patients with severe COVID-19 in accordance with the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization,” said Dr. Dana Hargunani, Chief Medical Officer. “Because of the experimental nature of the drug, shared decision-making between patients and providers is paramount, and informed consent must be obtained prior to its use.”
Remdesivir is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is an experimental drug for patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19. The state received this drug on May 12th and May 15th. States are allowed to use this drug under a federally issued Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
BACKGROUND ON EUA FROM THE OREGON HEALTH AUTHORITY:
The EUA allows health professionals to use the drug to treat some severely ill COVID-19 patients who meet clinical criteria. Remdesivir was developed by Gilead Sciences Inc. and has been tested in patients with various diseases, such as Ebola, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). According to Gilead’s website, “it is not known if remdesivir is safe and effective for the treatment of COVID-19.”
The Oregon Health Authority says this drug has been tested on 1,063 patients. The National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease treated patients with the drug. These patients had a faster recovery. The results released in April show patients with advanced lung disease recovered 31 percent faster with the drug than patients who didn't take it. The study says differences in mortality rate were not statistically significant. The full results from the study have not been published.
“Clinical observation by providers across the board has been that overall clinical improvement and in particular fever resolution, is sped up by the drug’s administration. It has varied by the stage of the patients’ degree of illness at time of presentation. Those findings were confirmed in the recent preliminary data release by Gilead last week – patients were able to discharge 4 to 5 days sooner with drug therapy.” said Dr. Tobias Pusch, an infectious disease physician at Providence.
The drug will be given to hospitals when a patient is eligible. There are specific guidelines that need to be met under the EUA.
The Oregon Health Authority says, "as of May 16, at 8:30 a.m. there were 56 people hospitalized with confirmed COVID 19. Among those 25 are being treated in an intensive care unit."
Learn more here: https://sharedsystems.dhsoha.state.or.us/DHSForms/Served/le2389D.pdf