Health Officials Say Remdesivir Shows Promising Results For COVID Patients

Tuesday, October 12th 2021, 5:26 pm
By: Erica Rankin

Doctors have very few treatments when it comes to COVID-19.

Some, like remdesivir, have showed promising results, but doctors have said these treatments must be used at the right time to work well.

"The secret in treating COVID is to have a unified approach that is multi-faceted," said Dr. Stan Schwartz.

He said that approach includes several treatments, like monoclonal antibodies and remdesivir.

He said there has been some disagreement between medical agencies that has led to a degree of uncertainty.

"The World Health Organization differs and states in a carefully worded statement they quote 'suggest against administering remdesivir in addition to usual care,'" said Schwartz. 

In several large studies, Schwartz said evidence suggested the use of remdesivir has shown to lessen symptoms and shorten hospitalization.

"They looked at about 46,000 patients in the United States and they divided them in to two groups," said Schwartz. "Treated with remdesivir and not treated with remdesivir."

Of those patients, data showed 15% treated with it died. In those who were not given remdesivir 19% died.

"That may not seem like a lot," said Schwartz. "A 4% difference, but when you look at the size of the study that would have been about 2,300 lives saved."

Sometimes there aren't any treatment options for COVID patients, but it is important that doctors have tools, they said. When administered at the right time, that could give someone with COVID-19 a better shot at fighting off the virus.

"If they are a high-risk patient and there is a likelihood they will get very sick then remdesivir if they need to go into the hospital and monoclonal antibodies if there is still time to keep them out of the hospital," said Schwartz.