Study Finds Antiviral Meds Like Remdesivir Have No Effect on COVID-19

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MANEND NEWS, One of the avenues being explored by researchers in the battle against COVID-19 is the repurposing of existing medications.

Developing new drugs is a costly and time-consuming process that can take billions of dollars and several years to complete — if the drug is safe and effective enough to cross the finish line in the first place.

Finding new ways to use medications that we already have, according to Dr. Sanjay Sethi, a researcher at the University at Buffalo, has many advantages.

Scientists already know a great deal about these drugs in terms of their activity, adverse effects, and dosing, Sethi explained.

This allows researchers to bypass phase 1 research and proceed directly to phase 2 or phase 3 studies, substantially reducing the time needed to develop a new drug.

This is what is currently happening with antivirals like remdesivir and hydroxychloroquine.

However, a new study indicates that these medications may not be as effective as we had hoped.

What the study found

The World Health Organization (WHO) conducted a large, randomized trial to evaluate the efficacy of four antiviral medications: remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir, and interferon.

These medications are currently being used to treat patients who have been hospitalized with COVID-19.

The study included 11,266 COVID-19 patients who were admitted to 405 hospitals in 30 countries.

These patients were randomly divided into different groups, depending upon the medication that was administered.

  • 2,750 of them received remdesivir
  • 954 received hydroxychloroquine
  • 1,411 received lopinavir
  • 651 received interferon and lopinavir
  • 1,412 received interferon
  • 4,088 did not receive any drug.

There were no placebos.

The researchers’ main goal was to assess in-hospital mortality, but they also examined duration of hospital stay and initiation of ventilation.

The trial found that none of the drugs studied provided any benefit for the patients in any of the areas that were assessed.

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