FAST FIVE: The Remdesivir Study Is Finally Out: Drug Only Helped Those On Oxygen, Finds Mortality Too High For Standalone Treatment
Meanwhile, those who were waiting for the official version of Remdesivir's effectiveness had to do so until 6pm on a Friday before a long holiday, and for good reason.
Meanwhile, and explaining the 6pm release on a Friday, the study also found no marked benefit from remdesivir for those who were healthier and didn't need oxygen or those who were sicker, requiring a ventilator or a heart-lung bypass machine.
The categories are as follows: not hospitalized, no limitations of activities; not hospitalized, limitation of activities, home oxygen requirement, or both; hospitalized, not requiring supplemental oxygen and no longer requiring ongoing medical care (used if hospitalization was extended for infection-control reasons); hospitalized, not requiring supplemental oxygen but requiring ongoing medical care (Covid-19-related or other medical conditions); 5, hospitalized, requiring any supplemental oxygen; hospitalized, requiring noninvasive ventilation or use of high-flow oxygen devices; hospitalized, receiving invasive mechanical ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO); and death.
The results are summarized below, highlighting the only group that showed a statistically significant improvement in outcomes as a result of taking the drug vs placebo.
In conclusion, while the “preliminary findings support the use of remdesivir for patients who are hospitalized with Covid-19 and require supplemental oxygen therapy” the study goes on to warn that “given high mortality despite the use of remdesivir, it is clear that treatment with an antiviral drug alone is not likely to be sufficient.” The study's recommendation: Future strategies should evaluate antiviral agents in combination with other therapeutic approaches or combinations of antiviral agents to continue to improve patient outcomes in Covid-19.