(Photo: AP-Yonhap News)
The World Health Organization says the anti-viral drug remdesivir should not be used to treat COVID-19 patients no matter how severe their illness as it has "no important effect" on survival chances.
The United States, the European Union and other countries have granted temporary approval for the drug developed by Gilead Sciences after initial research showed it may shorten recovery time in some patients.
A WHO Guideline Development Group of international experts said Friday there was "no evidence based on currently available data that it does improve patient-important outcomes."
The panel, which published updated guidance in the BMJ medical journal, acknowledged their recommendation does not mean remdesivir has no benefit for patients.
But it advised against administering remdesivir in addition to usual care for the treatment of people hospitalized with the coronavirus based on the latest figures from four international randomized trials involving more than 7,000 patients, costs, and delivery methods.
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