PITTSBURGH (May 21, 2020) – Allegheny Health Network (AHN) announced today that four of its hospitals have received the antiviral medication remdesivir to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients. AHN’s Allegheny Valley, Forbes, Jefferson and West Penn hospitals have each received doses of the investigational medication.
Following a clinical trial in which it was shown to shorten the recovery time in some people with COVID-19, remdesivir has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use for patients on oxygen therapy or mechanical ventilation. The drug is also available to some hospitals, including AHN’s Allegheny General Hospital, as part of an expanded access treatment protocol by the drug’s manufacturer Gilead Sciences.
“As the only drug proven to be effective against COVID-19 in a rigorous trial, we are pleased to be able to treat our most critically-ill, hospitalized patients with the therapy,” said Brian Parker, MD, Chief Quality Officer, AHN.
Remdesivir, which is administered to patients through an IV, may help decrease the amount of coronavirus in a person’s body which may help them recover more quickly, says Dr. Parker.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, hospitals that have received shipments of the medication were determined based on the number of COVID-19 patients at the hospital over a recent seven-day period, and the severity of the illness of those patients based on whether they are on a ventilator.
As the department acquires more doses of remdesivir, AHN will work to obtain additional doses to serve more of its patients as needed.