Remdesivir, an antiviral drug to treat COVID-19, is in the process of being registered in Trinidad and Tobago. This was confirmed by Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh who says this drug will be used as part of a WHO trial.
What is Remdesivir?
Remdesivir is an experimental antiviral drug produced by the US pharmaceutical company Gilead, initially as a potential treatment for Ebola.
It was quickly pushed through clinical trials during the West African outbreak of 2013-15, after showing promising results in the lab, and was then rolled out more widely in affected areas of Africa.
Despite this, in 2019 Congolese health chiefs said the drug was less effective than first thought - and had a less significant impact on lowering death rates than monoclonal antibody drugs, which are often used for cancer treatment.
Does it work?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2020 prematurely posted research which found the drug was ineffective, and even potentially harmful.
The document showed that the Chinese study involved 237 patients, of whom 158 were given remdesivir and 79 a placebo.
After 28 days of treatment with remdesivir there was no difference in symptoms or mortality between the two groups.
"Remdesivir use was not associated with a difference in time to clinical improvement [or] mortality," the summary said.
More participants in the remdesivir group (12%) than in the placebo group (5%) discontinued therapy due to adverse events.
The US pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, which manufactured the treatment, dismissed the report saying the trial's results were inconclusive because it was terminated early.
What are some known side effects?
In the Ebola trial, researchers noted that one side effect of remdesivir was increased liver enzyme levels that may indicate possible liver damage.
Researchers have since documented similar increases in liver enzymes in Covid-19 patients.
During one of Gilead Sciences trials, 23 per cent of those involved demonstrated evidence of liver damage on lab tests.
On top of this, about 25 per cent of patients receiving it had other severe side effects, including multiple-organ dysfunction syndrome, septic shock, acute kidney injury and low blood pressure.
Typical antiviral drug side effects include nausea and vomiting.
A new study from the University of Cincinnati is raising concerns about the safety of the FDA approved COVID-19 treatment Remdesivir.
Remdesivir shouldn't be given to people who are taking certain medications.
Doctor Reveals Remdesivir Is Real Cause Of COVID-19 Maladies
Dr. Bryan Ardis stated that Dr. Fauci pushed the use of Remdesivir as a treatment for COVID-19 knowing that it would be unsafe and ineffective for patients. He suggested that the symptoms of lungs filling with fluid and the other alleged COVID-19 symptoms were actually side effects of kidney poisoning and other organ damage that are known side-effects of Remdesivir.
Dr. Ardis further suggested that the devastating health toll allegedly caused by COVID-19 was actually caused by the NIH recommended treatment of Remdesivir. and that the NIH even cited two studies on its website that showed that Remdesivir was ineffective and unsafe to patients. It seemed that many doctors just blindly followed the recommendation of the NIH to use Remdesivir without actually reading the cited studies.
Conflict Of Interest
On May 12, 2020, the NIH recommended the use of Remdesivir for severe cases of COVID-19. The recommendation from the NIH to use Remdesivir to treat COVID-19 came from the NIH Panel on COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines. There were nine (9) people on the NIH Panel on COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines with financial ties to Gilead Sciences, the maker of Remdesivir.
In May 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for the investigational antiviral drug Remdesivir for the treatment of suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in adults and children hospitalized with severe disease. The FDA stated that while there was limited information known about the safety and effectiveness of using remdesivir to treat people in the hospital with COVID-19, the investigational drug was shown in a clinical trial to shorten the time to recovery in some patients.
FDA approves remdesivir to treat COVID-19 (October 2020)
The Food and Drug Administration approved remdesivir to treat COVID-19 in hospitalized patients. The drug, manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Gilead, is the first approved COVID-19 treatment in the United States.
Remdesivir, now marketed under the brand name Veklury, was authorized for emergency use by the FDA in May. That emergency authorization indicated that the FDA thought the benefits of using the drug outweighed the risks, even though there was no clear evidence showing that it helped patients with COVID-19 at the time.
For the past months, Remdesivir has been part of the standard treatment for COVID-19 patients in many hospitals in the US. The benefits of the treatment appear to be limited. Clinical trials of the drug show that it may help some patients recover more quickly, but that it may not prevent death from the disease.
For more information on Remdesivir read Remdesivir: A World Divided & Serious Questions