State health officials say that they have distributed Remdesivir, an anti-viral drug used to fight COVID-19, to more than 30 hospitals across the state.
Four hospitals receiving the drugs are in Hinds County, while one each is located in Madison and Rankin counties, according to records provided by the Mississippi State Department of Health.
In Hinds County, hospitals receiving the drug include Mississippi Baptist Medical Center, St. Dominic Memorial Hospital, the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Merit Health Central.
In Madison County, remdesivir has been distributed to Merit Health Madison. And in Rankin County the drug has been provided to Merit Health Rankin, records show.
Hospitals in Hinds and Madison have received 928 vials.
Distribution to health care facilities is based on the number of hospitalized patients who have been confirmed or are suspected to have COVID-19, as well as the total number of ICU patients with or suspected to have the virus, health officials said.
“MSDH communicates regularly with hospitals … to meet hospital needs,” said Liz Sharlot, MSDH spokeswoman.
Currently, the state has almost 2,000 vials in storage, all of which were distributed to the state via the federal department of Health and Human Services.
HHS was seeking data from the states today, to determine how to allocate another shipment of the drug, Sharlot said.
The anti-viral has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat the coronavirus.
According to a May 23 article in the New York Times, the drug “shortened recovery time from 15 to 11 days in hospitalized patients” suffering from COVID-19.
The article went on to state that results were taken from a study of 1,063 patients, and that those who received the remdesivir “not only recovered faster but also did not have serious adverse events more often than those who were given the placebo.”
The study was sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and findings first appeared on the New England Journal of Medicine’s website, the Times states.
UMMC confirmed that doctors have administered the drug to patients. "In general, we like to give the drug early in the disease process to patients that are hospitalized and requiring some type of supportive care, the earlier the better," said Dr. Alan Jones, chair of emergency medicine and clinical response leader for the hospital's COVID-19 response. "Generally, those with liver and renal dysfunction are not good candidates."