Maine receives federal shipment of remdesivir

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Maine on Tuesday received a shipment of antiviral drug remdesivir from the federal government, according to the Maine CDC.

Within one hour, the shipment was placed on transport vehicles for distribution to hospitals across the state, said Dr. Nirav Shah, Maine CDC director, in a press conference on Tuesday.

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Shah said doctors across the state want to start using remdesivir on patients in intensive care units.

A clinical trial performed by the National Institute of Health showed how remdesivir can lead to a faster recovery for coronavirus patients.

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Preliminary results indicate patients who received remdesivir had a 31 percent faster time to recovery at 11 days, as opposed to patients 15 days for those who received the placebo. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the face of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said during his Senate testimony on Tuesday that the results were “modest.”

Shah said the state received 10 cases of the drug, enough to treat approximately 50 patients. There are currently 34 coronavirus hospitalizations in Maine, with 17 patients in critical care and eight on ventilators, according to the most recent figures.