ORLANDO, Fla. – The drug remdesivir is being called the new standard of COVID-19 care by Dr. Anthony Fauci.
"The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery," Fauci said.
A clinical trial showed it can block coronavirus and speed recovery time.
Hospitalized patients who took the drug recovered in 11 days compared to 15 for those given a placebo, a 31% improvement.
Drew McDonald was hospitalized with COVID-19 and was one of the patients who participated in the nationwide study.
“It got real for me when I lay down Sunday night and couldn’t breathe,” he said. “By the time I left the hospital, I was already improving drastically."
McDonald still does not know whether he was given remdesivir or a placebo.
The same study found the drug had a very small impact on the death rate.
Even after taking remdesivir, about 8% of ill patients died, versus 11.6% of those who did not take the drug.
News 6 has learned the drug has been used in Central Florida to treat COVID-19.
Dr. Amay Parikh with AdventHealth said they have treated seven patients using the drug but added that much more research needs to be done to know the drug’s effectiveness.
“It seems like it’s a promising drug, it’s still early too say if this drug is the home run or not,” Parikh said.
Of the seven AdventHealth patients given the drug, six have been sent home.
“One is currently recovering, however again whether or not this is due to the drug or whether they would have gotten better on their own, we can’t glean that from our experience,” Pirikh said