Mumbai doctors plan to use Remdesivir, even though WHO advises against its use |
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Mumbai doctors plan to use Remdesivir, even though WHO advises against its use
Express News Service,  21 November 2020
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On Thursday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had revised COVID-19 treatment protocol, and has advised against administering Remdesivir to coronavirus patients. The recommendation comes after a month after WHO’s ‘Solidarity Trial’ had found that the anti-viral drug showed no evidence of mortality, quicker clinical improvement or any other outcomes. However, in Mumbai, doctors are planning to still continue its use.

The COVID-19 task force of the state will discuss the revised WHO guidelines in its meeting on Monday. At present, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is going to continue with Remdesivir as a part of their treatment protocol.

Dr Balkrishna Adsul, who is a Dean of Seven Hills hospital, which is also BMC’s first dedicated COVID hospital, said that they have administered the anti-viral drug to 1,200 patients. Their evidence suggested that if the drug is used in the initial stage, the patient’s condition then improves. Seven Hills hospital is using Remdesivir on 150 to 160 patients on a regular basis and has more than 4,000 vials in stock for future use. Within four to five days of developing symptoms, Remdesivir should be used and if used after 10 - 20 days, then it has less effect.

Government and private hospitals are presently using Remdesivir for all hospitalised COVID-19 patients. In St George’s hospital, Remdesiviris given to moderate to severely ill COVID-19 patients.

Dr Rahul Pandit, member of the task force said that as science and knowledge is progressing, research is offering new evidence regarding drugs in this ongoing pandemic. However, clinical trials have produced different results based on their specific objectives. A very few treatment options are available, so they would continue to use Remdesivir. He further said that WHO has given a weak advisory against Remdesivir, thus demonstrating that the evidence is not strong enough against the drug.

In October, WHO’s Solidarity Trial had mentioned that there is no evidence based on available data currently that Remdesivir improves patient-important outcomes. The panel positioned a low value on small and uncertain benefits of the remaining likelihood of important damages. The WHO considered the relative problems of availability and access to the drug also. The US Food and Drug Administration had already given approval to Remdesivirin the last month.

In a statement that was issued on Thursday, Remdesivir manufacturer Gilead said that they are disappointed regarding the WHO guidelines which are ignoring the evidence at a time when cases are increasing rapidly around the world. Several doctors are depending on Veklury which is the 1st and the only approved antiviral treatment for COVID-19 patients in almost 50 countries.

Source: The Indian Express

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