Remdesivir doesn’t help COVID-19 patients recover, WHO study says.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: WHO says Remdesivir not effective in preventing death from COVID-19, trial to assess other antibodies'

WATCH: The World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday that WHO’s COVID-19 solidarity trial found Gilead Science's Remdesivir had no impact on survival rates, adding that it would assess monoclonal antibodies and other antiviral drugs in its trial of potential COVID-19 treatments. – Oct 16, 2020

GENEVA — A large study led by the World Health Organization suggests that the antiviral drug remdesivir did not help hospitalized COVID-19 patients, in contrast to an earlier study that made the medicine a standard of care in the United States and many other countries.

The results announced Friday do not negate the previous ones, and the WHO study was not as rigorous as the earlier one led by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. But they add to concerns about how much value the pricey drug gives because none of the studies have found it can improve survival.

The drug has not been approved for COVID-19 in the U.S., but it was authorized for emergency use after the previous study found it shortened recovery time by five days on average. It’s approved for use against COVID-19 in the United Kingdom and Europe, and is among the treatments U.S. President Donald Trump received when he was infected earlier this month.

The WHO study involved more than 11,000 patients in 30 countries. About 2,750 were randomly assigned to get remdesivir. The rest got either the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, the immune-system booster interferon, the antiviral combo lopinavir-ritonavir, or just usual care. The other drugs have largely been ruled out for COVID-19 by previous studies, but not remdesivir.

Death rates after 28 days, the need for breathing machines and time in the hospital were relatively similar for those given remdesivir versus usual care.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

The results have not been published in a journal or reviewed by independent scientists, but were posted on a site researchers use to share results quickly.

“The big story is the finding that remdesivir produces no meaningful impact on survival,” Martin Landray, an Oxford University professor who led other coronavirus treatment research, said in a statement.

Trending Stories

“This is a drug that has to be given by intravenous infusion for five to 10 days,” and costs about $2,550 per treatment course, he said. “COVID affects millions of people and their families around the world. We need scalable, affordable and equitable treatments.”

Dr. Margaret Harris, a WHO spokeswoman, attributed the difference in the conclusions of the two studies to the fact WHO’s was larger.

“It’s just a much higher-powered study,” she said. “It’s quadruple the number of people in all the other studies.”

However, Dr. Andre Kalil, a University of Nebraska infectious disease specialist who helped lead the U.S. remdesivir study, said the WHO one was poorly designed, which makes its conclusions less reliable. Patients and doctors knew what treatment they were using, there was no placebo infusion to help avoid biased reporting of risks or benefits, there was little information about the severity of patients’ symptoms when treatments began and a lot of missing data, he said.

“Poor quality study design cannot be fixed by a large sample size, no matter how large it is,” Kalil wrote in an email.

Furthermore, the WHO study tested 10 days of remdesivir, so some patients may have been hospitalized longer than they needed to be just to finish treatment, making their length of stay look bad in comparison to others getting usual care.

Remdesivir’s maker, Gilead Sciences, said in a statement that the results are inconsistent with more rigorous studies and have not been fully reviewed or published.

View link »

© 2020 The Canadian Press

Global News

Breaking news & current latest Canadian news headlines; national weather forecasts & predictions, local news videos, money and financial news; sports stats and scores.

https://globalnews.ca/

Related news
Giuliani Wanted ‘Multiple Investigations’ Into Joe Biden, Says Ukranian Official - NBC News NOW.

Giuliani Wanted ‘Multiple Investigations’ Into Joe Biden, Says Ukranian Official - NBC News NOW.

Igor Novikov, a former adviser to Ukrainian President Zelensky, told NBC News that Rudy Giuliani wanted “multiple investigations” into Joe Biden during a 2019 phone call with Ukrainian officials. NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell explains what Novikov cla...

Cuomo announces plans for Broadway reopening, eases more COVID restrictions.

Cuomo announces plans for Broadway reopening, eases more COVID restrictions.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says Broadway shows can reopen at 100% capacity beginning September 14, with tickets going on sale this Thursday. He also eased other restrictions in the state and said vaccines will be offered at Yankees and Mets ba...

Metro Carriages Removed From Crash Site in Mexico

Metro Carriages Removed From Crash Site in Mexico

Mexico City workers and volunteers removed the two metro carriages, Tuesday, May 4, that crashed after an overpass collapsed the day before. ————————— READ MORE: An elevated section of the Mexico City metro collapsed and sent a subway car plunging...

Legal expert on Facebook Oversight Board's decision on Trump's suspension.

Legal expert on Facebook Oversight Board's decision on Trump's suspension.

Facebook's Oversight Board upheld the company's suspension of Donald Trump but said Facebook must review its process and decide on a longer-term solution within six months. Assistant professor of law Kate Klonick joined CBSN with a closer look at ...

PCSO Julia James’ killer ‘deliberately left phone at home to avoid detection’ cops believe.

PCSO Julia James’ killer ‘deliberately left phone at home to avoid detection’ cops believe.

POLICE on Wednesday released a photo of murdered PCSO Julia James in the clothes she was last seen wearing before she was bludgeoned to death. The mum-of-two was discovered with serious head injuries in Akholt Wood, Snowdown, Kent last Tuesday. Ju...

Congressman Colin Allred weighs in on Facebook's suspension of Trump.

Congressman Colin Allred weighs in on Facebook's suspension of Trump.

Facebook's Oversight Board has upheld the company's suspension of former President Trump but said it should be reviewed within six months. Facebook suspended Mr. Trump following the January 6 riot at the Capitol, saying he incited the violence. Re...