Houston expecting more anti-viral drugs shown to improve recovery in COVID-19 patients

Houston-area hospitals are to receive more Remdesivir.

HOUSTON – Gov. Abbott’s office said that Houston hospitals will be getting another supply of Remdesivir soon.

Remdesivir got emergency approval for use among the sickest coronavirus patients because studies indicate this drug can speed up recovery of COVID-19.

However, Houston doctors said they received only a very small supply of the drug that was quickly used up in select patients.

Why can't Houstonians rely on this treatment?

Luis Ostrosky, MD, UT Health Professor of Infectious Diseases, said the government decides where the drug is dispersed.

This week, according to the office of Gov. Abbott, Gilead (the maker of Remdesivir) has donated a supply of 75 more cases that are all coming to our area.

"The medication is being distributed according to COVID hospitalizations at the county level to ensure it is getting to where it is most needed," according to the office of Governor Abbott.

Who will get it? Twenty-seven hospitals across the Greater Houston Metropolitan area.

Counties included in this distribution are:

  • Brazoria (2)
  • Fort Bend (3)
  • Galveston (14)
  • Harris (50)
  • Matagorda (1)
  • Montgomery (3)
  • Walker (2)

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 diseases, such as those in intensive care.

“There are very clear-cut criteria on who would get this medication because, obviously, there’s more patients than courses of Remdisivir available right now,” Rodrigo Hasbun, MD, UT Health/UT Physicians Infectious Disease specialist, said.