May 10, 2020
New Jersey will receive a shipment of 110 cases of the experimental drug remdesivir to treat hospitalized coronavirus patients, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said. The cases, which each consist of 40 vials of the experimental drug, are being donated by Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, and Michigan will also be receiving shipments of remdesivir, which received approval from the FDA on May 1 to be used by healthcare providers to treat adults and children who are hospitalized due to COVID-19 and in serious condition.
New Jersey—along with New York, Indiana, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia—received 94 cases of remdesivir earlier this week. Between the two shipments, New Jersey could treat approximately 8,160 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in severe condition.
The state health department will be responsible for appropriately distributing doses of the experimental drug to hospitals that are in greatest need, and healthcare providers interested in providing remdesivir to COVID-19 patients are instructed to contact the state health department.
Patients with low blood oxygen levels, needing oxygen therapy, or using a ventilator to help with breathing are eligible for the experimental drug, HHS said.
In a randomized controlled clinical study of the experimental drug in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, the National Institutes of Health and Gilead discovered that remdesivir could bring about a faster recovery from the coronavirus. However, the data was insufficient enough to determine if remdesivir leads to a lower mortality rate from the virus.
While the experimental drug is available in the U.S. through clinical trials, Gilead is providing roughly 607,000 vials of remdesivir over the next six weeks to treat approximately 78,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients across the country who are in critical condition. Gilead is donating more than 1.5 million vials of the experimental drug worldwide.
Remdesivir is expected to be eventually delivered to all 50 states, the HHS said.