WHO advises against prescribing remdesivir to Covid patients

WHO advises against prescribing remdesivir to Covid patients

Gilead drug has ‘no meaningful effect’ on survival or need for ventilation, says health body

The World Health Organization has advised against prescribing the drug remdesivir to Covid-19 patients in hospital, casting further doubt on the effectiveness of the only antiviral approved to treat the disease.

Writing in the British Medical Journal on Friday, an expert WHO panel said the drug, produced by Gilead Sciences of the US, was “not suggested for patients admitted to hospital with Covid-19, regardless of how severely ill they are, because there is currently no evidence that it improves survival or the need for ventilation”.

The WHO last month released the largest amount of evidence on remdesivir to date, which showed it had no effect on mortality, hospital stays or the need for ventilation. Gilead alleged the study was flawed.

Remdesivir was last month approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration and it was one of the cocktail of drugs given to President Donald Trump when he contracted Covid-19.