A World Health Organisation, WHO, Study has concluded that Remdesivir a drug currently being used in treatments for COVID-19 has little to no effect on the virus.
The study which was released after a six month trial period concluded that the drug along with 3 others had little effect on mortality.
The results of the global trial are in sharp contrast to a large study in the United States, which found Remdesivir shortened the time to recovery by about five days on average.
Chevon Campbell has that story.
A World Health Organization trial using four drugs in the hospital treatment of COVID-19 has found the repurposed medicines have little to no effect on the length of time patients spend in hospital or their survival.
The drugs include Remdesivir, Hydroxychloroquine, Lopinavir and Interferon.
The WHO study says regimens appeared to have little or no effect on hospitalized COVID-19 patients, as indicated by overall mortality, initiation of ventilation and duration of hospital stay.
The results have to yet to be peer-reviewed.
The randomised trial of the drugs took place in 405 hospitals across 30 countries and involved over 11-thousand patients.
Some 2,750 people were allocated remdesivir, 954 hydroxychloroquine, 1,411 lopinavir, 651 interferon plus lopinavir, 1,412 only interferon, and 4,088 were given none of the study drugs.
The WHO study contradicts another coming out of the United States conducted by the biopharmaceutical company which manufactures the drug, Gilead.
The Gilead study showed the treatment cut patients’ COVID-19 recovery time by five days compared with patients who got a placebo.In a statement, responding to the WHO study Gilead said it was concerned that the data from the trial had not undergone vigorous review, and that it was unclear whether any conclusive findings could be drawn from the results.
It said the WHO data appears inconsistent, with more robust evidence from multiple randomised, controlled studies published in peer-reviewed journals validating the clinical benefit of remdesivir.
Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton, just yesterday said the government would move to obtain vials of the drug for use in treating COVID-19 locally, provided the doctor obtain properly informed consent from the patient.
“REMDESIVIR CAN REDUCE RECOVERY TIME” – MOHW
Meanwhile, Head of Health Services Planning and Integration at the Health and Wellness Ministry, Dr. Nadine Williams, says the Remdesivir drug can reduce recovery time and mortality rate, if taken in the early stages of COVID-19.
Dr. Williams was speaking last evening during the Health Ministry’s COVID-19 Conversations virtual media forum.
Dr. Williams notes that evidence on the drug is evolving.
She says the side effects of the drug include vomiting, stomach ache, impacts on the kidneys and liver and issues with blood clot.
She says there is no evidence the drug impacts the recovery time and mortality rate in patients critically or moderately ill.
Dr Williams says the drug must be monitored like other controlled drugs.
And she says patients must give informed consent before being administered the drug.
She also cautioned against using Remdesivir with other drugs.
She says the government had procured some of the drug in advance to ensure it was available if requested.
Nadine Williams, Head of Health Services Planning and Integration at the Health and Wellness Ministry.
She was speaking last evening during the Ministry COVID Conversations weekly forum.
Stevian Simmonds contributed to this report.