Though once-touted by the mainstream media as being an effective treatment for COVID-19 patients, a study of the experimental drug conducted by the WHO has found Remdesivir to be an ineffective treatment for the coronavirus.
The study found that treatment of COVID-19 patients with Gilead's promising drug did not reduce hospitalisation time, or mortality rate.
Until now, remdesivir has been the only drug that appeared to have specific effects for coronavirus. It was also the only drug with an Emergency Use Authorisation for COVID-19 from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, after hydroxychloroquine lost its FDA approval.
Remdesivir's emergency approval for compassionate use came just days after the New England Journal of Medicine published a study finding that 60% of those treated with the drug experienced adverse effects.
Some Doctors took to Twitter to slam the approval of the drug, including Dr. Kulvinder Kaur of Concerned Ontario Doctors.
“60% [of patients] reported adverse events during follow-up. 25% of COVID-19 patients receiving Remdesivir had severe side effects, including multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, septic shock, acute renal injury, and hypotension,” she wrote on Twitter in May, referencing the New England Journal of Medicine article on the compassionate usage of the drug.
According to the paper, 13 per cent of patients involved in the study died after completing the Remdesivir treatment.
In June, Gilead Sciences, the makers of Remdesivir, shocked the world when they released the proposed price of the drug, announcing that it would be available for $3,120 per course at the wholesale price to hospitals.
The sale of 500,000 doses to the US government earned Gilead over $1.5 billion.