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According to a recent report published by the World Health Organization, three potential drugs touted as a treatment for COVID-19 have “little or no effect” on death rates in patients hospitalized. Remdesivir is one of these three coronavirus drugs.
WHO’s Solidarity Therapeutics Trial conducted is the most significant randomized study of possible coronavirus drugs. It reported that remdesivir, interferon, hydroxychloroquine, and lopinavir/ritonavir treatments had little to no effect on coronavirus patients’ mortality course.
Two weeks ago, remdesivir was one of the treatments given to President Trump after being tested as positive for COVID-19. The president has claimed multiple times that remdesivir works, and it has helped him recover from COVID-19 in just days. After his diagnosis, President Trump was hospitalized but returned home and resumed his duties within only a few days.
The Solidarity Trial included more than 11,600 patients in 405 hospitals in more than 30 counties. From the patients included in the study, 2,750 were treated with remdesivir. In the trial, 11% of the hospitalized respondents who received the drug died compared to 11.2% from a control group of the same size.
The authors of the study reported that none of the drugs studied could decrease patients’ mortality, reduce the need for ventilation or hospitalization. These random controlled studies are known as the gold standard in medical trials because these are more effective in reducing any bias.
However, this study by the WHO has not received any reviews coming from other experts. The WHO study results came after Gilead Sciences released their final verdict of its large-scale remdesivir trial. Gilead is the first drug company to develop remdesivir, and the drug was initially meant for the treatment of the Ebola virus.
Gilead’s study that involved more than 1,000 hospitalized patients with the coronavirus. The drugmaker reported that remdesivir significantly reduced the death rate of patients hooked to oxygen support. But no significant reduction in death was noted.
Gilead CEO said that remdesivir prevents patients from becoming sicker and needing to follow up oxygen support. He also mentioned that their study also used randomized control, and the results were peer-reviewed. The company was not available for any comment regarding the trial results released by the WHO.
Gilead reported last week that it would sell up to 500,000 remdesivir to more than 35 countries in Europe. Countries in the region are already stocking up on remdesivir as COVID-19 cases’ resurgence occurred in various European areas.
Gilead received a copy of the results of the WHO Solidarity Trial on September 28, and on October 8, it has signed a billion-dollar deal with the European Commission. The results were not yet public during this time.