WHO Advises Against Using Remdesivir For Treating COVID-19

The Solidarity Trial showed that the drug is ineffective in reducing COVID-19 mortality

A month after its Solidarity Trial showed that Remdesivir is ineffective in reducing COVID-19 mortality, the World Health Organization has now updated its guidelines to advise against the use of Remdesivir in treating COVID-19.

Gilead's Remdesivir has received emergency use authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration but the World Health Organization has decided against using the drug after several trials did not show any effect of the drug on COVID-19.

A WHO Guideline Development panel of international experts published in British Medical Journal that they studied four other large international randomised trials to reach the conclusion that Remdesivir should not be used for COVID-19 purposes.

While reviewing these studies with over 7000 participants, the panel acknowledged that the certainty of evidence supporting that Remdesivir is ineffective is low. They emphasise that the evidence is based on currently available data. The group specifically mentions that their decision does not prove that Remdesivir has no benefit at all.

The panel also advises to not stop the ongoing panels that are continuing recruiting for Remdesivir trials. They are open to studying evidence from other trials but currently believe that not using the drug is an appropriate recommendation owing to the large costs that the intravenous injection carries.

In India, Remdesivir is still a part of the COVID-19 Clinical Management Protocol. BOOM spoke to officials the Indian Council of Medical Research who stated that they participated in the Solidarity Trials and are not responsible for the Clinical Management Protocol. BOOM even wrote to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare but has not received a response till the time of publishing this story.

On October 16,2020, the results of WHO's Solidarity Trials revealed that Remdesivir does not assist in reducing mortality due to COVID-19 or decrease the duration of hospital stay. Gilead in response countered the trial as inconsistent.

The panel concluded that the relevant studies showed that Remdesivir has no effect on ventilation or clinical outcomes and thus it should not be a part of treatment guidelines. Gilead's much touted Remdesivir has not been used for any other diseases till date.

Many doctors, however, swear by the use of the drug having witnessed results.

Updated On: 2020-11-20T19:08:02+05:30
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