TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - The FDA has approved the first drug to treat COVID-19. It’s called Remdesivir. It’s an antiviral medicine given through an IV for patients needing hospitalization.
According to a large study led by the US National Institutes of Health, Remdesivir cut the time of recovery for COVID-19 patients by five days. Clinical trials have found that Remdesivir improved symptoms for hospitalized patients. This was the drug that President Donald Trump received when he contracted the virus earlier this month.
Remdesivir had been authorized for use on an emergency basis since the spring. However, it now becomes the first drug to win full FDA approval for treating COVID-19.
This drug is approved for people 12 years old and above. Right now, Remdesivir is only available via injection or IV in hospitals.
Vigo Health Pharmacy owner Alpesh Patel says this shows a significant difference in recovery for patients and this is extremely encouraging. He says the FDA is working on increasing production and availability to the public, but he thinks this development should put your mind at ease.
“This is the new medical product that will be available for treatment. More and more drugs are coming in the pipeline,” Patel said, “Hopefully very soon people will have more choices. Different forms of the medicine will be available. At least now we are moving in a new direction and we will be safer.”
News 10 reached out to several Wabash Valley hospitals to see if they have been using Remdesivir for patients. Regional Hospital in Terre Haute, Good Samaritan in Vincennes, Greene County Hospital, and Sullivan County Hospital all responded and said they have indeed been utilizing Remdesivir as instructed by a physician.