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World Health Organization rejects antiviral drug remdesivir as treatment for Covid-19

The World Health Organization did not recommend the use of the antiviral drug remdesivir, which has been of great interest as a treatment for Covid-19, on Thursday.

The panel of experts concluded that “remdesivir has no meaningful impact on other important outcomes for patients, such as mortality, ventilator needs and time to clinical improvement.” WHO announced. The panel published the review in the journal The BMJ. The report did not completely rule out the use of the drug as a Covid treatment, but said there was insufficient evidence to recommend its use.

In a statement, Remdesivir manufacturer Gilead Sciences (brand name Veklury) said the drug was “standard treatment for inpatients with Covid-19 in guidelines from many trusted national organizations, including the US National. “The Society of Health Infectious Diseases in the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Germany.” In addition, “there are multiple randomized controlled trials published in a read journal demonstrating the clinical benefits of Veklury.” I did.

The potential usefulness of remdesivir has been the subject of debate and skepticism for months, especially in the last few weeks, after the Food and Drug Administration approved it as the first treatment for Covid-19 in late October. .. A large study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health found that the drug reduced recovery time for inpatients from 15 days to 11 days. Two other Gilead-sponsored, authorities-examined trials did not include placebo controls that were considered important in determining efficacy.

President Trump was given remdesivir along with other treatments when he was admitted to Covid last month.

Pharmaceutical companies and researchers have been working on the spot since at least March, when the pandemic began to spread from China to Europe and the United States, and practitioners have experimented with all possible treatments, including steroids. In September, the WHO Expert Committee strongly recommended the use of steroids in patients with critical conditions.

For a new analysis, the panel provides evidence from four trials, including one conducted by NIH and sponsored by WHO and recently posted to a preprint server containing up to about 5,000 patients to date. I considered it. This treatise has not been peer-reviewed or published in scientific journals.

The results of the study “questioned some of the benefits previously seen in the NIH study,” said Bram Rokhberg, associate professor and co-chair of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The doctor said. WHO panel.

Dr. Rochwerg said the panel “stated in writing that the trial of remdesivir should be continued and that there may be certain populations that may benefit.” However, the drug is expensive and is given intravenously, he said. It could be used to divert resources that can be deployed more effectively, Dr. Rochwerg said.

Remdesivir has been licensed for emergency use in the United States since spring, and in October Gilead reported that it had generated $ 873 million in revenue so far this year.

The use of this drug, which is widely used for Covid’s symptoms, has puzzled some experts long before FDA approval.

“This is a perfectly appropriate decision by WHO,” wrote Dr. Peterbach, director of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Health Policy and Outcomes Center, in an email. “Remdesivir costs thousands of dollars. The largest randomized trials examined for use with Covid suggest that remdesivir may have no benefit. One positive study Dating back to the days before the use of dexamethasone for severe illnesses, “he added. For steroids commonly used in hospitals today.

Dexamethasone is a treatment that has been shown to help patients with Covid-19 at certain stages of the disease.

The WHO Expert Panel Report, called the “Lifestyle Guidelines,” is an initiative to continually update physicians and patients as new evidence emerges to change current medical practices.

“I’m a little worried that I haven’t found much that works yet,” said Dr. Rochwerg. “But I hope that ongoing research will identify other drugs that improve survival and symptoms.”

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World Health Organization rejects antiviral drug remdesivir as treatment for Covid-19

Source link World Health Organization rejects antiviral drug remdesivir as treatment for Covid-19

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