Michigan is one of six states getting a shipment of remdesivir, a drug that has shown to help coronavirus patients recover faster in preliminary trials.
According to MLive, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is shipping 40 cases of the drug – each case containing 40 vials – to Michigan, it announced in a Saturday, May 9 news release. Gilead Sciences donated 607,000 vials of remdesivir to the United States and 1.5 million vials worldwide.
The vials have arrived in Michigan, although the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is working on a strategy for how to distribute the drug, MDHHS spokesman Bob Wheaton said in an email. It’s enough for 145 patients, he said.
It’s up to the states on how to distribute it, per the HHS, but the drugs must go to COVID-19 patients in greatest need – like people on ventilators.
“Health care providers interested in administering the donated experimental drug should contact their state health department,” according to the HHS news release.
Preliminary trials of remdesivir on coronavirus patients suggest the drug can lead to a faster recovery, per HHS. However, there’s not enough data to determine if the drug decreases the likelihood of dying.
Gilead Sciences and the National Institutes of Health led a randomized, controlled clinical trial of the drug on COVID-19 patients.
Other states getting the drug include New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Maryland, Iowa and Virginia.
The drug is being sent to states hit hardest by the pandemic, per the HHS news release. As of Saturday, Michigan has the fourth-most deaths in the United States with 4,526 and has the seventh-most cases with 46,756.