Controversy Over US Announcement On Remdesivir To Treat COVID-19 Patients

by GoNews Desk 1 month ago Views 984
Controversy Over US Announcement On Remdesivir To
The US government’s top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, has backed a randomized, placebo-controlled study of Gilead Sciences Inc.’s antiviral drug, remdesivir, to treat patients in critical stages of COVID-19 condition. 

The study claims to reduce time to recovery for hospitalized patients. The FDA is "working with Gilead to figure out a mechanism to make this easily available to people who need it," said Fauci. He made the announcement in the Oval office, but experts have raised concerns and noted medical journal The Lancet has stated the first randomised trial of remdesivir in China suggests the antiviral drug is not associated with significant clinical benefits, more research needed.

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“Treatment with the antiviral drug remdesivir does not speed recovery from COVID-19 compared with placebo in hospitalised patients who are critically ill, according to the first randomised trial of its kind involving 237 adults (aged 18 and older) from ten hospitals in Wuhan, China”, The Lancet said in a statement issued late Wednesday night.

“Although their study is the first randomised controlled trial (considered the gold standard for evaluating the effectiveness of interventions) of remdesivir, the authors caution that interpretation of their findings is limited because the study was stopped early after they were unable to recruit enough patients due to the steep decline in cases in China. They conclude that more evidence from ongoing clinical trials is needed to better understand whether remdesivir can provide meaningful clinical benefit”, the statement added.

In the absence of any known treatment for COVID-19, remdesivir is one of a handful of experimental drugs undergoing clinical trials worldwide. It has only been available to patients with COVID-19 on compassionate grounds (the use of unapproved drugs when no other treatment is available). In the trial, all patients received standard care including lopinavir–ritonavir, interferons, and corticosteroids.

“Unfortunately, our trial found that while safe and adequately tolerated, remdesivir did not provide significant benefits over placebo”, says Professor Bin Cao from China-Japan Friendship Hospital and Capital Medical University in China, who led the research. 

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