MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP >> Four Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic Hospitals, including St. Mary Medical Center in Bucks County, are among the 51 Pennsylvania hospitals receiving remdesivir, an antiviral drug being tested as a possible COVID-19 treatment, from the federal government.
The state Department of Health will distribute the first shipment of the drug to the selected hospitals across the state over the next few days.
“Colleagues across all Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic hospitals have been providing high-quality, compassionate care to our community which has been highly affected by the coronavirus,” said Sharon Carney, MD, SVP and Chief Clinical Officer for Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic. “We are happy we can now provide this treatment to patients most in need to help them overcome this illness.”
The Department of Health allotted the first shipments of remdesivir to hospitals based on: number of COVID-19 cases over a seven-day period, the severity of those cases and how many of those cases required use of a ventilator. The department will continue to work with federal partners to acquire more doses of this medication to serve more patients across Pennsylvania.
In addition, Mercy Catholic Medical Center – Mercy Fitzgerald Campus and St. Mary Medical Center have been approved by Gilead Sciences to participate in an expanded access protocol for remdesivir.
Both Mercy Fitzgerald and St. Mary have been approved for the clinical protocol for a limited number of critically ill patients. Currently, select hospitals across the world are participating in the Gilead trial, and Mercy Fitzgerald is the only hospital in Delaware County to take part.
“We are grateful to have the opportunity to participate in this Expanded Access Protocol and provide possible treatment to some of our most in need patients,” added Carney. “As our community comes together to overcome this crisis, we are proud our Mercy Fitzgerald and St. Mary colleagues are part of this specific effort to find a treatment for the coronavirus.”
Mercy Fitzgerald and St. Mary Medical Center have been treating a high volume of COVID-19 patients since the beginning of the local outbreak in early March. Each hospital has received an initial supply of the drug for treatment courses for patients that qualify for the protocol. The hospitals will have the ability to request additional shipment of remdesivir, depending on the level of supply available.
Remdesivir, developed by the biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, has been found to reduce the recovery time for patients with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. A clinical trial of remdesivir by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases reported patients experienced a 31% faster recovery time with the drug compared to a placebo.
For more information about Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic’s COVID-19 response, visit www.trinityhealthma.org/covid19.