The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday advised against the use in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 of the antiviral Remdesivir, one of the main treatments against the disease with which it has been experimented this year, when no evidence found to cause improvement in the sick.
An international panel of WHO experts concluded that there is no evidence that the drug, produced by the US pharmaceutical company Gilead and previously used in Ebola patients, reduce mortality in the most severe cases of COVID-19 or decrease the need for ventilation.
The results, published in the British Medical Journal of the British Medical Association, have been obtained after analyzing data from four trials with 7,000 patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
The drug “has no significant effect in mortality or in other important indicators in patients, such as the need for mechanical ventilation or the time to clinical improvement “, the experts emphasized.
High cost and health risk
The experts clarified that the results do not indicate that Remdesivir lacks certain beneficial effects for patients, but its use is discouraged due to the high cost and possible health risks of a drug that must be administered intravenously.
They also clarified that they support that clinical trials with this drug, some of them supported in their day by the WHO, continue in specific patient groups to continue gathering evidence on its effects.
The WHO has been recommending for months the use of dexamethasone, a very affordable corticosteroid in the international market, for the treatment of severe cases of COVID-19, since it has been the one that has offered the best results to date.