December 23, 2021 – Antivirus remdesivir, an intravenous drug given to mostly seriously ill patients with COVID-19 in hospitals, could keep unvaccinated people who become infected outside the hospital if given outpatient, a new study says.
Researchers studied 562 unvaccinated people from September 2020 to April 2021, according to a study published in New England Journal of Medicine. The study found that the risk of hospitalization or death was 87% lower in study participants who received remdesivir than in participants who received placebo.
Important note: it is based on data collected before Delta variant grew last summer or the Omicron variant grew later this year, Washington Post reported.
A new study says the drug could be helpful in keeping vaccinated and unvaccinated people out of the hospital – an important factor as the rise of Omicron threatens to flood health systems around the world.
Remdesivir could be a boon for non-vaccinated COVID-19 patients or for immunocompromised patients.
“These data provide evidence that a three-day course of remdesivir could play a key role in helping COVID-19 patients stay out of the hospital,” said Robert L. Gottlieb, MD, PhD, COLID-19 Therapeutic Leader in Baylor Scott & White Health. Dallas, according to a statement from Gilead Pharmaceuticals.
“While our hospitals are ready to help patients in need, prevention and early intervention are more desirable to reduce the risk of disease progression and allow patients who do not need oxygen to recover from home when needed.”
Remdesivir was the first antiviral drug for COVID-19 to be approved by the FDA. It was given to then-President Donald Trump when he was hospitalized with COVID-19 in October 2020.
Gilead released the results of the study in September.