Post sponsored by

Source: United Kingdom – Science Media Centre

The World Health Organisation (WHO) have released an updated guideline on drugs for COVID-19, published in the BMJ, in which it advises against the use of the antiviral drug remdesivir for patients with COVID-19.

Prof Peter Horby, Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health in the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, said:

“This combined analysis of more than 7000 adults hospitalised with COVID-19 from four randomised controlled trials has found no evidence of a meaningful benefit from remdesivir.  Given this lack of evidence of any benefit on mortality, the risk of ending up on a ventilator or the time to clinical improvement, the World Health Organisation have reasonably recommended against the use of remdesivir in patients hospitalised with COVID-19, whatever their disease severity. Remdesivir is an expensive drug that must be given intravenously for five to ten days, so this recommendation will save money and other healthcare resources. Remdesivir has been recommended in several COVID-19 treatment guidelines so this new analysis will necessitate a rethink about the place of remdesivir in COVID-19.”

DOI: 10.1136/bmj.m3379

The updated  ‘A living WHO guideline on drugs for covid-19’ was published at 00:01 UK time Friday 20 November in the BMJ.


All our previous output on this subject can be seen at this weblink:

Declared interests

Prof Peter Horby: “Chief Investigator of the RECOVERY trial. The RECOVERY trial is supported by a grant to the University of Oxford from UK Research and Innovation and NIHR (MC_PC_19056 ). Tocilizumab is being studied in RECOVERY. Tocilizumab was provided free of charge for this study by Roche. Lopinavir–ritonavir was provided free of charge for this study by Abbvie.  REGN-COV2 was provided free of charge for this study by Regeneron.

Employee of University of Oxford with salary supported by Wellcome Trust and NIHR.

I do not accept any personal honoraria payments directly or indirectly from the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or food industries.

I hold no shares in and receive no consultancy payments directly or indirectly from tobacco, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or food companies.”

MIL OSI United Kingdom