FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Remdesivir is now the first drug in the U.S. to be FDA approved for treating coronavirus infections.
Until now, it's been only given to hospitalized patients under an emergency use authorization.
Earlier this month, the World Health Organization sponsored a global study that found Remdesivir did not help COVID-19 patients recover faster or survive the virus. However, a U.S. study shows it did shorten recovery time by about a third for some patients.
Local medical experts also saw positive results with the drug.
"That's what we've been finding, especially here in the Central Valley. We found patients are having a 50-60 percent reduction in hospital stay and overall quicker resolution of symptoms," said Dr. Adam Rajoulh.
Dr. Rajouhl explained Remdesivir is an IV drug that must be administered under medical supervision. It's not meant as a preventative drug for the coronavirus and is most beneficial when given early.
Dr. Rajoulh says Remdesivir was in short supply early on in the pandemic, but many local hospitals now have enough in stock.
He added that even if a person has already had COVID-19, it does not make them immune from getting it again.
Remdesivir approved by FDA, local doctors see positive results with drug