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WHO warns against remdesivir for COVID-19 treatment

WHO Warns Against Remdesivir for Covid-19 Treatment

LONDON – Remdesivir, an antiviral drug, should not be used to treat patients with Covid-19, regardless of their medical condition, as there is no evidence of its effectiveness, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.
“The group found a lack of evidence that remdesivir improves outcomes that matter to patients, such as reduced mortality, the need for mechanical ventilation, the time needed for clinical improvement, and others,” said the WHO Guideline Development Group (GDG).
“Any beneficial effects of remdesivir, if they exist, are likely to be minimal and the possibility of significant harm remains,” the panel said.
The WHO recommendation, published in the British Medical Journal, was based on a review of the evidence that included data from four international randomized trials involving more than 7,000 hospital patients.
After reviewing the evidence, the group concluded that remdesivir had no significant effect on death rates or other important outcomes for patients.
“Especially given the costs and resource implications associated with remdesivir, the panel felt that the onus should be to demonstrate efficacy, which is not established by the data currently available,” he declared.
The antiviral is one of only two drugs currently authorized to treat patients with Covid-19 worldwide. It has been approved for use in the United States, European Union, and other countries after initial research found it may shorten recovery time in some patients with Covid-19.
Manufactured by the US company Gilead, remdesivir is extremely expensive and must be administered intravenously. Gilead said last month that the drug increased third-quarter sales by about US $900 million.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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