Colorado will soon use the experimental treatment remdesivir for COVID-19, after enough doses arrived in the state this week to be administered to up to 100 patients.
The state is delivering the doses to eight hospital systems based on their percentage of coronavirus patients and the number of people under investigation for COVID-19. The drug has received an emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, after some early results have shown that remdesivir may reduce the amount of the disease in a person’s body and lower the time that hospitalized patients need to recover.
However, there are multiple clinical trials in process to study the effects further. The drug’s manufacturer, Gilead Sciences Inc., has said it will produce enough under the emergency authorization to treat approximately 78,000 people. Patients receive the drug intravenously once per day for up to 10 days.
Beginning last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services began delivering cases of the drug to multiple states. It is intended for patients on ventilators or who require other means of receiving sufficient oxygen. Eventually, the drug will make its way to all states and to veterans' and tribal health services.
“Not a lot of people have taken remdesivir. Serious and unexpected side effects may happen,” the FDA warned in its authorization.