By Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Nov. 20, 2020 (HealthDay Information) — The antiviral drug remdesivir shouldn’t be beneficial for hospitalized COVID-19 sufferers as a result of there isn’t any proof that it reduces their want for air flow or improves their possibilities of survival, a World Well being Group panel mentioned Thursday.
Remdesivir is considered a possible therapy for extreme COVID-19 and is used to deal with hospitalized sufferers, however there may be uncertainty about its effectiveness. However, the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration authorised the drug to deal with hospitalized COVID-19 sufferers in October.
Within the new evaluation, the WHO panel of consultants analyzed knowledge 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 affect on the chance of loss of life or some other vital affected person outcomes, comparable 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.
Nevertheless, given the chance of serious hurt, the comparatively excessive price, and the calls for on well being care employees (remdesivir have to be given intravenously), their advice is acceptable, the panel mentioned.
The panel additionally mentioned they assist continued enrollment into trials evaluating the usage of remdesivir in COVID-19 sufferers, particularly to offer extra dependable proof for particular teams of sufferers.
The longer term 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 — comparable to the cheap and extensively accessible corticosteroid dexamethasone, which has been proven to cut back loss of life danger in severely unwell COVID-19 sufferers — are actually a part of the discussions about remdesivir’s value as a COVID-19 therapy.
“It is grow to be clear that remdesivir, at finest, has a marginal profit if any on medical enchancment,” mentioned Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar on the Johns Hopkins Heart for Well being Safety in Baltimore. “It’s not shocking, subsequently, that the WHO guideline committee doesn’t assist its use, underscoring the necessity for higher therapies that extra meaningfully affect affected person outcomes.”
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