COVID-19: Doctors back Remdesivir, Hydroxychloroquine vaccines despite WHO claim of 'low efficacy'

One critical reason, the doctors note, on why this drug may bring in positive results is that it is usually administered along with steroids, especially for patients with comorbidities. 

Published: 23rd October 2020 09:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd October 2020 09:29 AM   |  A+A-

Early studies testing remdesivir in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 found that those who received the treatment recovered quicker than those who didn't.

For representational purposes.

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Despite WHO solidarity trials indicating that the efficacy of Remdesivir and Hydroxychloroquine is low, the doctors in both private and government hospitals are still backing these drugs for treatment of moderate to severe COVID-19 patients.

One of the keys reasons, according to these doctors, is that as there is no other alternative and as the drugs have no apparent "contra-indications", even a 20 per cent efficacy is a win-win situation in the course of treatment.

"In our clinical experience, over the last couple of months, addition of Remdesivir in the treatment protocol has brought a significant change as the overall morbidity and mortality was reduced after its introduction," noted Dr Raghukant, a Consultant Pulmonologist at Medicover Hospitals "Factors like early diagnosis, management and also awareness about the disease have a multiple compound effect," he added.

One critical reason, the doctors note, on why this drug may bring in positive results is that it is usually administered along with steroids, especially for patients with comorbidities. "Usually if inflammatory markers are elevated, along with Remdesivir, steroids are being given and this combination is giving good results," said Dr Ramana Prasad, Consultant Pulmonologist at KIMS Hospitals.

Another crucial reason for government hospitals to continue using the same is the directions from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare backing the drugs, and asking not to remove them from the treatment guidelines. 

"For organisations like WHO, a drug may be called effective only if it has 70 per cent efficacy. This drug is an RNA inhibitor so it may have some effect on viral load and while treating, even if its efficacy is 20 per cent, it is that much useful," added Dr Kiran M, HOD Aneasthesialogy, Nizamabad Government Medical College.

"Any trial will give a complete picture in about a year’s time, which is why we must wait before discontinuing this treatment protocol as there is no alternative," added Dr Tapaswi Krishna, Consultant Pulmonologist, Global Hospitals.


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