Coronavirus: Remdesivir has 'little effect' on death risks, says WHO

Gilead questions WHO study that cast doubts on drug's COVID-19 benefits

Gilead questions WHO study that cast doubts on drug's COVID-19 benefits

Peter Galle, who oversees infectiology at Germany's Mainz university hospital.

A huge trial like this one, conducted in various countries with various health care systems, can lead to inconsistent treatment protocols whose effects can be hard to analyze, he said. Gilead said the data have "not undergone rigorous review". "The drug is only part of it". President Donald Trump took Remdesivir when he was recovering from the virus earlier this month, among other treatments.

Remdesivir is the only antiviral drug that has been authorized for treatment of Covid-19 patients in the US.

An overseas study recently showed that remdesivir shortened patients' recovery time with severe Covid-19 by about four days.

In India, Remdesivir drug was is being sold by Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila.

Differences in patients who participated in the trial at hundreds of clinical sites may undermine the quality of the data, said Prof.

The hydroxychloroquine and anti-HIV studies were abandoned earlier this year, and interferon was dropped on Thursday.

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Because of its design, there was "significant heterogeneity" in the way the trial was conducted.

"The story is not over for remdesivir and on interferon too, the last word is not out", he said. Almost 39 million people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and more than one million have died.

"The outcome of in-hospital mortality is imperfect because deaths can of course occur outside of the hospital", Spinelli said, adding that remdesivir requires participants to remain in the hospital for the 10-day treatment. But many criticized this move and said that the federal agency had made this shift without any sufficient evidence.

The WHO Solidarity trial, one of the largest ongoing studies of COVID-19 drugs, examined the effects of remdesivir and three other treatment candidates in more than 11,000 patients in 30 countries. The trial stopped using hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir in June. About 4,100 received no drug treatment. This led to black-marketing of the drug here and the prices shot up by five to six times. In July, Gilead released further data suggesting the treatment may reduce the likelihood of death, but that finding had not been confirmed in a randomized controlled trial - the gold standard for drug approval.

"No study drug definitely reduced mortality (in unventilated patients or any other subgroup of entry characteristics), initiation of ventilation or hospitalisation duration", the research paper, which is yet to be peer- reviewed, said.

"The real disappointment is that remdesivir has also failed in a larger number of cases and in the "real world setting", Clemens Wendtner, Chief Physician of Infectiology and Tropical Medicine at Munich's Schwabing Clinic, said. Some 1.1 million people have died and 39.1 million have been reported infected in the pandemic, and the global economy has been thrown into chaos.

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