Remdesivir: All you need to know about Covid-19 drug remdesivir |

NEW DELHI: The US Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved remdesivir as the first drug to treat patients hospitalized with Covid-19.
Here is all you need to know about remdesivir:
The drug, which California-based Gilead Sciences Inc is calling Veklury, cut the time to recovery by five days – from 15 days to 10 on average – in a large study led by the US National Institutes of Health.
Veklury is approved for people at least 12 years old and weighing at least 88 pounds (40 kilograms) who are hospitalized for a coronavirus infection. For patients younger than 12, the FDA will still allow the drug’s use in certain cases under its previous emergency authorization.
Europe, India and other countries such as Canada also have granted temporary approval for the use of remdesivir.
President Donald Trump, who tested positive for the coronavirus early in October, was treated with remdesivir at a military hospital outside Washington, among other drugs.
The drug was first developed to treat Ebola, a viral hemorrhagic fever.
How it works
Remdesivir, which is administered by an injection, was one of the first drugs to show relative promise in shortening the time to recovery in some coronavirus patients.
The drug works by inhibiting a substance the virus uses to make copies of itself. Certain kidney and liver tests are required before starting patients on it to ensure it’s safe for them and to monitor for any possible side effects.
Gilead charges $2,340 for a typical treatment course for people covered by government health programs in the United States and other developed countries, and $3,120 for patients with private insurance.
Zydus has priced it at Rs 2,800 ($37.44) per 100mg vial India. It is being sold under the brand name Remdac to government and private hospitals treating Covid-19 patients.
What WHO says about remdesivir
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) last week said its global trial of Covid therapies found that remdesivir did not have a substantial effect on patients’ length of hospital stay or chances of survival. That study has not been reviewed by outside experts.
Gilead has questioned the potential for bias in the WHO study.
Doctors in India stick to remdesivir for treatment, refutes WHO claims
Refuting the claim made by World Health Organisation (WHO) on remdesivir, the core Covid-19 treatment group at Sawai Man Singh Medical College in Jaipur has said that the drug has been effective in preventing mortalities.
“Remdesivir is one of the most effective drugs available for Covid patients and helps in preventing mortality. We completely disagree with WHO’s claim on remdesivir,” said Dr Sudhir Bhandari, principal and controller, SMS Medical College, and head of the core treatment group.
(with inputs from agencies)

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