WHO rejects remdesivir for COVID-19
The World Health Organization (WHO) panel, in its latest statement, has recommended against the use of the remdesivir, an antiviral drug, in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. WHO says there is no evidence that the drug improves mortality.
WHO issued revised guidance on 19th Nov, Thursday in which the WHO’s Guideline Development Group has made a “weak or conditional recommendation against” using remdesivir in hospitalized patients. This recommendation comes after reviewing the clinical data that showed the drug did not increase survival. The group also found the drug had no meaningful effect on whether hospitalized COVID-19 patients would need to be put on ventilators.
However, the group has cautioned that the new recommendation is based on “currently available data,” where the certainty of the evidence is low.
Link to the article: https://www.bmj.com/content/bmj/370/bmj.m3379.full.pdf
A trial run by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that remdesivir helped hospitalized COVID-19 patients recover faster compared to placebo.
WHO’s Solidarity trial results last month showed that remdesivir “appeared to have little or no effect on hospitalized COVID-19, as indicated by overall mortality, initiation of ventilation, and duration of hospital stay.”
However, in a surprising move, a week after the Solidarity data came out, the FDA approved remdesivir for hospitalized patients, leaving everyone wondering how FDA could approve it even after the publication of negative results of the WHO trial. But FDA in its approval statement cited the NIH- study plus a few other trials that indicated some benefit from remdesivir.