How some states are allocating their share of COVID-19 drug

As limited doses of the drug remdesivir make its way around the country, states, counties and hospitals are making plans on how to distribute it — and these plans may be drastically different, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Remdesivir is the first drug to have shown efficacy in treating COVID-19, moderately speeding up recovery among patients, according to a federal study. Gilead Sciences, the maker of the drug, is donating 940,000 does of it to the federal government over the next six weeks, which will be distributed among hospitals by state officials.

But there is little clear federal criteria that guide which patients would benefit most from the drug, the Journal reports. Thus, different areas of the country and different hospitals are coming up with their own plans to distribute the drug.

University of Washington Medicine in Seattle plans to use anonymous applications filled out by physicians to determine which patients will get remdesivir. The application only calls for medical information required for criteria set by the FDA and Washington state to avoid bias, said Shireesha Dhanireddy, MD, an infectious disease physician at UW Medicine told the Journal.

Meanwhile, West Virginia, which received about 1,160 remdesivir doses, plans to divide the doses equally among the four regions of the state, said William D. Ramsey, MD, who is heading logistics for the state's coronavirus response. In each of the four regions, hospitals will be able to use a local supply of the drug for patients on a first-come, first-served basis.

California is distributing the drug by county, based on the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in each county.

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