The World Health Organization (WHO) has defended its study on Remdesivir after its developer argued that the results were “inconsistent” with previous studies. The WHO trial claimed that the drug doesn’t help Covid-19 patients.
“It’s a reliable result, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise, because they’ll try to,” Richard Peto, an independent statistician hired by the WHO to evaluate its trial, told reporters on Friday. He argued that any benefits from Remdesivir may be due to chance, according to Reuters.
The WHO-funded study of four antiviral drugs, including Remdesivir and Hydroxychloroquine, involved more than 11,000 Covid-19 patients in 30 countries. It found that all of the drugs tested had “little or no effect” on mortality, the need to be ventilated or the amount of days spent in a hospital.
Remdesivir’s developer Gilead Sciences noted that the results of the trial have not been peer-reviewed and argued that they “appear inconsistent with more robust evidence from multiple randomized, controlled studies published in peer-reviewed journals.” The California-based company said that the benefits from Remdesivir for Covid-19 patients were demonstrated in three previous trials, the results of which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week.
Remdesivir is the only antiviral drug that has been authorized for treatment of Covid-19 patients in the US. President Donald Trump took Remdesivir when he was recovering from the virus earlier this month, among other treatments.
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