Great Plains Health has received an allocation of the antiviral drug remdesivir for treatment of patients with COVID-19, according to a press release.

On May 1, the FDA issued “emergency use approval” for remdesivir to treat COVID-19 patients. The manufacturer, Gilead Sciences agreed to donate their current stock to be distributed through state health departments.

Remdesivir is an antiviral.

Earlier this week, Gov. Pete Ricketts announced that the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services received an initial supply of 400 vials of remdesivir to distribute as necessary, with the intent that the medication be limited to COVID-19 patients most severely impacted and ventilated.

Today, Great Plains Health received 18 vials, which is enough to treat three patients.

“We are extremely appreciative to receive the remdesivir,” said Barb Petersen, chief quality officer. “We want to be able to provide the COVID-19 patients we are caring for every opportunity to overcome this disease. We appreciate the support that we have received from the state officials and every partner that helped us receive these vials.”

Many people came together to procure the medication.

“Multiple people have been involved in the process for garnering this allocation for Great Plains Health including GPHealth infectious disease physician Dr. Eduardo Freitas; GPHealth CEO, Mel McNea; GPHealth chief quality officer, Barb Petersen; Nebraska Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gary Anthone; GPHealth radiation oncologist and current chairman of the Nebraska Medical Association, Dr. Todd Hlavaty; UNMC infectious diseases pharmacist, Scott Bergman; Nebraska Governor, Pete Ricketts and US Senator Ben Sasse,” Jason North, Great Plains Health pharmacy director.

“It is vital to be able to have access to the same medications and resources that are available in other parts of the state and country,” said Mel McNea, chief executive officer. “Our patients deserve that same level of care and we are proud to be able to provide it thanks to everyone working together that made this happen.”

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