ST. PAUL -- Minnesota will soon be receiving a limited shipment of a drug believed to help patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms.

In recent clinical trials, Remdesivir, an anti-viral drug, has allowed people with the illness to be discharged from the hospital 30 percent faster after an average of 11 days instead of 15.

The manufacturer, Gilead, donated a large amount of the medication to the Federal Health and Human Services Agency who is distributing it amongst the states.

Minnesota Health Department Commissioner Jan Malcolm says they are working on a plan to distribute the medication to help as many people as possible once it gets here.

We are developing criteria for how we will distribute that Remdesivir around our healthcare systems with an eye to maximize the number of lives that we can impact taking into account the risks, an expectation of benefits, and also equity and fairness and transparency.

Malcolm says she hopes this is the first of many shipments to come to the state. The MDH will be giving updates in the days ahead.

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