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WHO Says No to Remdesivir as COVID-19 Remedy

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Nov. 20, 2020 (HealthDay Information) — The antiviral drug remdesivir just isn’t really helpful for hospitalized COVID-19 sufferers as a result of there is not any proof that it reduces their want for air flow or improves their probabilities of survival, a World Well being Group panel mentioned Thursday.

Remdesivir is considered a possible remedy for extreme COVID-19 and is used to deal with hospitalized sufferers, however there may be uncertainty about its effectiveness. Nonetheless, the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration authorized the drug to deal with hospitalized COVID-19 sufferers in October.

Within the new evaluation, the WHO panel of specialists analyzed information from 4 worldwide randomized trials that assessed a number of therapies for COVID-19 and included greater than 7,000 hospitalized COVID-19 sufferers.

The panel — which included 4 individuals who’ve had COVID-19 — concluded that remdesivir has no significant impression on the danger of dying or every other vital affected person outcomes, similar to the necessity for mechanical air flow or how lengthy it takes for his or her situation to enhance.

The outcomes of the trials do not show that remdesivir has no profit. As an alternative, they supply no proof that the drug improves affected person outcomes, the panel defined in an article printed Nov. 19 within the BMJmedical journal.

Nonetheless, given the danger of serious hurt, the comparatively excessive value, and the calls for on well being care employees (remdesivir should be given intravenously), their advice is suitable, the panel mentioned.

The panel additionally mentioned they help continued enrollment into trials evaluating using remdesivir in COVID-19 sufferers, particularly to supply extra dependable proof for particular teams of sufferers.

The long run use of remdesivir in treating COVID-19 sufferers is unclear, on condition that it is unlikely to be the lifesaving drug many have hoped for, American journalist Jeremy Hsu wrote in a linked article within the journal.

He additionally famous that various therapies — similar to the cheap and extensively obtainable corticosteroid dexamethasone, which has been proven to cut back dying danger in severely in poor health COVID-19 sufferers — at the moment are a part of the discussions about remdesivir’s price as a COVID-19 remedy.

“It is change into clear that remdesivir, at finest, has a marginal profit if any on scientific enchancment,” mentioned Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar on the Johns Hopkins Heart for Well being Safety in Baltimore. “It isn’t shocking, due to this fact, that the WHO guideline committee doesn’t help its use, underscoring the necessity for higher therapies that extra meaningfully impression affected person outcomes.”


Extra data

For extra on therapies for extreme COVID-19, go to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


SOURCES: BMJ, information launch, Nov. 19, 2020; Amesh Adalja, MD, senior scholar, Johns Hopkins Heart for Well being Safety, Baltimore


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