WHO panel advises against administering remdesivir to critical Covid-19 patients

Prashasti Awasthi London | Updated on November 20, 2020


The panel has concluded that remdesivir has no meaningful effect on mortality or on other outcomes for patients

A World Health Organization Guideline Development Group (GDG) panel of international experts stated that the antiviral drug remdesivir is not recommended for hospitalised Covid-19 patients, regardless of their severity.

The GDG panel stated that there is no such strong evidence to prove that remdesivir improves the condition of the patients and lessens the chances of ventilation, as per the report published in the journal BMJ.

Also read: Covid drug Remdesivir gets USFDA nod

The recommendation is part of a living guideline developed by the WHO with the methodological support of MAGIC Evidence Ecosystem Foundation.

This is to provide trustworthy guidance on the management of Covid-19 and help doctors make better decisions with their patients.

Since the inception of the pandemic, remdesivir has been highly vouched for reducing the severity in coronavirus cases. But its role in clinical practice has remained uncertain.

Also read: Scientists defend trial questioning Remdesivir’s Covid-19 benefits

The GDG recommendation is based on a new evidence review comparing the effects of several drug treatments for covid-19. It includes data from four international randomized trials involving over 7,000 patients hospitalized for Covid-19.

The WHO GDG expert panel concluded after extensive research that remdesivir has no meaningful effect on mortality or on other important outcomes for patients, such as the need for mechanical ventilation or time to clinical improvement.

The panel acknowledged that the certainty of the evidence is low, while also admitting the evidence did not prove that remdesivir has no benefit.

However, given the remaining possibility of important harm, as well as the relatively high cost and resource implications associated with remdesivir (it must be given intravenously), they judged this to be an appropriate recommendation.




Published on November 20, 2020

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