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WHO Recommends Against Use Of Remdesivir For All Hospitalised COVID-19 Patients | Gives Reasons

In a shocking announcement, The World Health Organisation has warned that the anti-viral drug remdesivir should no longer be used for hospitalised COVID-19 patients, arguing that trials had failed to prove that the treatment is effective.

WHO Chief Clinician, Janet Diaz told a press conference from Geneva that there was no clear evidence that the use of remdesivir reduced the risk of death or the need for oxygen support.

Diaz said there was no clear effect on the pace of recovery among trial patients. The WHO said in a statement that the possibility that remdesivir causes harm could also not be ruled out.

Also, there are “relatively high cost and resource implications associated with remdesivir,” the WHO argued, pointing out that the drug must be injected into the bloodstream.

The WHO had already published interim trial results in the middle of October that pointed to the drug’s lack of effectiveness.

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However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration formally approved remdesivir, a therapeutic made by U.S. company Gilead Sciences, in October.

The drug has also won EU approval for severe cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Anti-inflammatory steroids such as dexamethasone are the only known effective drugs for severely ill COVID-19 patients.

“Right now we have one life-saving therapy,” Diaz said, stressing that the WHO has been strongly recommending steroids.

She added that the use of oxygen, advanced respiratory therapies and good intensive care have also proven to be effective in helping patients survive.

“The panel found a lack of evidence that remdesivir improved outcomes that matter to patients such as reduced mortality, need for mechanical ventilation, time to clinical improvement, and others,”

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the WHO guideline said.


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