But the world’s largest randomized trial of such treatments has now found that they have little or no effect on death rates for severe cases of the disease.
The trial was ongoing for six months, during which time most of the treatments studied had been excluded.
Remdesivir, however, has been used as standard treatment in the United States and has also been approved for anti-coronavirus use in the United Kingdom and the EU.
The results of the study, which was not peer reviewed, contrast sharply with the results of a US study, which found the drug shortened recovery time by about five days. on average.
Meanwhile, Martin Landray, professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Oxford, said the results of the WHO study were in line with the results of his own study on hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir. .
“The big story is that remdesivir has no significant impact on survival,” he said.
“It is a drug that must be given by intravenous infusion over 5 to 10 days.
“COVID affects millions of people and their families around the world. ”
Noting that a course of remdesivir costs around € 2,100 per treatment, he added: “We need scalable, affordable and equitable treatments”.
According to the WHO, the study covered more than 30 countries and looked at inpatient death rates.
He did not specifically examine patients with ventilators or the recovery time required.