PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — More local hospitals have received shipments of remdesivir, a drug aimed at helping coronavirus patients.

Several Allegheny Health Network hospitals are now included in the list of local hospitals receiving shipments. Forbes Hospital, Allegheny Valley Hospital, Saint Vincent Hospital, Jefferson Hospital and West Penn Hospital are the first AHN hospitals in the region to get remdesivir. UPMC Mercy Hospital is also receiving its first shipment of remdesivir.

UPMC Presbyterian was the first hospital in the Pittsburgh region to receive remdesivir and has been provided additional doses by the state department in the latest shipment along with UPMC Shadyside, UPMC Altoona and UPMC Passavant – McCandless.

On Friday, remdesivir doses were sent to 81 hospitals in the state, according to the Pennsylvania Health Department. To date, 211 hospitals have received shipments with 18,066 doses included, based on the state health department’s data. Most hospitals that have received doses are located on the eastern side of the state.

Remdesivir is being used to treat COVID-19 patients and is supplied once a day for up to 10 days per patient through their IV. According to the FDA, remdesivir is supposed to alleviate the effects of COVID-19 and speed the recovery process.

“The department is working to give our hospitals every opportunity to treat patients with COVID-19,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “It is important to note that there is limited information on the safety and effectiveness of using remdesivir to treat people in the hospital with COVID-19. However, it was shown in a clinical trial to shorten the recovery time in some people, which is why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the emergency use of the medication for treatment.”

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