UTICA, N.Y. --- Since May, MVHS said they've been using the internationally known drug Remdesivir, to treat patients with COVID-19.
The FDA approved the drug for full use in hospitals on October 22nd. Before that, the drug was only allowed to be used on patients in emergency situations. The drug is made by Gilead Sciences. Head Physician Dr. Kent Hall said as COVID cases continue to rise across the area, treatments like these are needed now more than ever.
"I will say that it's really very important for the full spectrum of ability to take care of these patients. There is no single silver bullet. The true silver bullet is going to be prevention through vaccination when we get that," said Hall.
Hall said MVHS has had positive results with the drug so far. But since for the most part number of hospitalizations has been low in Oneida County, there's not enough data to show exactly how successful the treatment has been.
"I can't quantify it. So I cant tell you that it's a 50 percent response or a 70 percent response. What I will tell you is that there is certainly a correlation with when that patient has gotten that particular intervention and when they seem to be getting better," said Hall.
MVHS doesn't give Remdesivir to every COVID patient that comes in. Hall said the patients need to meet a certain level of need for the drug before it's administered.
"You wanna give it to people where you think they would benefit from it and without it, they could potentially have a really bad outcome. So you wait until they really require supplemental oxygen at a fairly high level. You also don't wanna wait too long. So you don't wanna wait until they're in the intensive care unit. Because then they may have passed the point of no return," said Hall.
Hall said the FDA is who decides who gets Remdesivir and how much of it. Hall said MVHS has a good stock of it right now, and as numbers increase, said they could get more if they need to. But added a majority of the drug will be sent to areas across the country that need it the most.