Remdesivir, the antiviral drug that was used to treat President Trump when he was diagnosed with coronavirus, has been officially approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration. The drug from Gilead Science received an emergency use authorization from the FDA in May, allowing hospitals to use remdesivir to treat patients hospitalized with the virus.
"Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gilead has worked relentlessly to help find solutions to this global health crisis," read a statement from Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day. "It is incredible to be in the position today, less than one year since the earliest case reports of the disease now known as COVID-19, of having an FDA-approved treatment in the U.S. that is available for all appropriate patients in need."
Following its official approval, the drug becomes the first official treatment for COVID-19 in the United States. It will be available for use on patients who are at least 12 years of age.
Remdesivir cannot be made into a pill due to the effect it would have on the liver.
At this time, the drug is administered through an IV and is designed only for those patients in a facility capable of providing inpatient hospital care. Most patients receive six vials of the drug over five days, though Gilead is working on an inhaled version to be administered through a nebulizer.