Anti-viral drug Remdesivir, which is being widely used in the country for treatment of COVID-19 patients, may be dropped from the recommended treatment protocol for the infection as there is no evidence of its effectiveness, a doctor from Delhi's top hospital said.
Although Remdesivir has been approved as an investigational drug for strict use under hospital conditions, it has seen a surge in demand amidst the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. This has led to shortage of the drug, and its black marketing and hoarding. The Health Ministry had urged hospitals to use the drug judiciously and rationally.
"...there is no such evidence regarding Remdesivir that works in COVID-19 treatment. Medicines that do not have any activity to work, will have to be discontinued," Ganga Ram Hospital Chairperson Dr DS Rana told new agency ANI.
"All the experimental medicines, be plasma therapy (which is now discontinued) or Remdesivir, all of them may be dropped soon as there is no such evidence of its functioning," he added.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also said that there is still no evidence to indicate that Remdesivir is beneficial in treating hospitalised coronavirus patients.
On Monday, the government revised the clinical guidance for COVID-19 treatment, dropping the off-label use of convalescent plasma as it was found non-beneficial in reducing the progression of severe COVID-19.
On use of plasma therapy, Dr Rana said, "We have seen in the last one year that giving plasma does not make any difference in the condition of the patient and other people. Also, it is not easily available. Plasma therapy was started on a scientific basis and has been discontinued on the basis of evidence."
India reported 2,67,334 new COVID-19 cases and 4,529 deaths due to the infection in the preceding 24 hours as of Wednesday.
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