COVID-19: WHO issues advisory against remdesivir treatment

World Health Organization (WHO), has issued advisory warning people against the use of anti-viral drug ‘remdesivir’ as COVID-19 treatment.

According to details, WHO has maintained that ‘remdesivir’ has no substantial effect and does not improve survival chances against COVID-19 coronavirus, hence advising people to not use the anti-viral drug for coronavirus treatment.

There is no evidence based on currently available data that it does improve patient-important outcomes, read the statement issued by experts from WHO Guideline Development Group (GDG).

GDG comprises of 28 clinical care experts, four patient-partners and one ethicist.

The development comes as both US and European Union (EU) along with several other nations have had granted temporary approval for the use of remdesivir for COVID-19 treatment after initial results that showed the anti-viral drug shortening recovery time from the novel virus.

WHO advisory is based on four international trials which involved more than 7,000 COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment in hospitals.

Work on this began on 15 October when the WHO Solidarity Trial published its interim results. Data reviewed by the panel included results from this trial, as well as three other randomized controlled trials.

The study revealed that remdesivir had no important effect on mortality, need for mechanical ventilation, time to clinical improvement, and other patient-important outcomes.

Meanwhile, Gilead – company that produces remdesivir, has said that the significant sale of its anti-viral drug has boosted its sale to around US$ 900 million in the third quarter this year.