Antiviral drug remdesivir is not recommended for patients hospitalized with COVID-19, regardless of how ill they are, as there is no evidence it improves survival or reduces the need for ventilation, the World Health Organization said.
WHO Guideline Development Group (GDG) of international experts said there was “no evidence-based on currently available data that it does improve patient-important outcomes”.
“The … panel found a lack of evidence that remdesivir improved outcomes that matter to patients such as reduced mortality need for mechanical ventilation, time to clinical improvement, and others,” the WHO guideline said.
Publishing updated treatment guidance in the BMJ medical journal, the panel acknowledged that their recommendation does not mean that remdesivir has no benefit for patients.
But based on the latest figures, costs, and delivery methods, it advised: “against administering remdesivir in addition to usual care for the treatment of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, regardless of disease severity.”