PORTLAND, Ore. --Oregon has received its first shipments of remdesivir, an experimental drug that has been used to treat patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19.
Last week, Oregon received allotments of the drug, which has not been formally approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but is being used under a federally issued Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
The EUA allows health professionals to use the drug to treat some severely ill COVID-19 patients who meet clinical criteria. Remdesivir has been tested in patients with various diseases, such as Ebola, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
Preliminary clinical testing shows that some patients treated with the drug experienced faster recoveries.
“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.”
Preliminary results, released in April, showed that individuals with advanced lung disease who received the drug recovered 31% faster than patients who did not. The study included 1,063 patients. Differences in the mortality rate were not statistically significant. Full study results have not been published.
Providence St. Vincent and Providence Portland medical centers have been approved for clinical trials of the drug. More than 30 patients have been tested.