Remdesivir, one of the drugs that Donald Trump took when he developed Covid-19, should not be used in hospitals because there is no evidence that it works, the World Health Organization warned.
The president of the United States was an enthusiastic advocate of drugs, to the point that in July he bragged that he had bought all the stocks in the world for Americans. However, the WHO guidelines committee has said that Covid patients may be better off without it.
The WHO issued what it calls a “living guideline,” which can be updated as evidence emerges, largely as a result of a Solidarity trial it conducted in several countries. Solidarity randomly assigned the patients to various medications, including remdesivir, and found that those who took it were no more likely to survive severe coviditis than those who did not.
There are other problems with remdesivir. Manufactured by the American company Gilead, it is extremely expensive and must be administered intravenously. The guideline, published in the British Medical Journal, concluded that “most patients would not prefer intravenous remdesivir treatment given the low certainty of the evidence. Any beneficial effects of remdesivir, if any, are likely to be small and the potential for significant harm remains. “