WHO advises against use of Remdesivir to treat COVID-19, says drug has no 'important effect' to reduce deaths

A WHO Guideline Development Group of international experts said there was 'no evidence based on currently available data that the anti-viral drug does improve patient-important outcomes'

Agence France-Presse November 20, 2020 10:01:08 IST
WHO advises against use of Remdesivir to treat COVID-19, says drug has no 'important effect' to reduce deaths

Paris: The anti-viral drug remdesivir should not be used to treat COVID-19 patients no matter how severe their illness as it has "no important effect" on survival chances, the World Health Organization said Friday.

Scratching one of the few treatments that had shown some initial promise in severe patients, a WHO Guideline Development Group (GDG) of international experts said there was "no evidence based on currently available data that it does improve patient-important outcomes".

The United States, the European Union and other countries have granted temporary approval for the use of remdesivir after initial research showed it may shorten recovery time in some coronavirus patients.

President Donald Trump was treated with remdesivir among other medicines after he tested positive for COVID-19 in October.

Friday's WHO recommendation was based on four international randomised trials among more than 7,000 patients hospitalised with the virus.

Publishing updated treatment guidance in the BMJ medical journal, the panel acknowledged that their recommendation does not mean that remdesivir has no benefit for patients.

But based on the latest figures, costs and delivery methods, it advised "against administering remdesivir in addition to usual care for the treatment of patients hospitalised with COVID-19 , regardless of disease severity".

Manufacturer Gilead said last month that the drug had boosted 2020 third quarter sales by almost $900 million.

Initially developed as a treatment for the Ebola virus, remdesivir was found in one study published in May to reduce the length of hospital stays for COVID-19 sufferers from 15 to 11 days on average.

A subsequent WHO pre-print however found the drug "appeared to have little or no effect" on mortality or length of hospitalisation among more than 11,000 hospitalised patients across 30 countries.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

India in talks with Moderna over COVID-19 vaccine development after biotech firm says its candidate shows 95% efficacy
India

India in talks with Moderna over COVID-19 vaccine development after biotech firm says its candidate shows 95% efficacy

'We are also in dialogue with Pfizer, Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila for their vaccine candidate in terms of safety, immunogenicity and efficacy,' a government official said

WHO hails COVID-19 vaccine news after Moderna's progress, but warns there's 'no time for complacency'
World

WHO hails COVID-19 vaccine news after Moderna's progress, but warns there's 'no time for complacency'

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that widespread availability of any vaccine remains a long way off, amid rising COVID-19 cases and deaths across the world

Italy to receive 3.4 mn doses of Pfizer vaccine in Jan, will provide first tranche to 1.6 mn people
World

Italy to receive 3.4 mn doses of Pfizer vaccine in Jan, will provide first tranche to 1.6 mn people

Italy's special commissioner for the virus emergency said he expected Pfizer's authorization from the European Medical Agency to be completed in time for the first vaccines to be administered in January