Remdesivir may be dropped from COVID-19 treatment, says Gangaram doctor
The use of Remdesivir may soon be dropped from the government guidelines concerning COVID-19 treatment in India, a top doctor based in Delhi has said. There is no evidence suggesting that the antiviral drug works against the novel coronavirus, Dr. DS Rana, Chairperson of the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in the national capital, told the media. Here are more details on this.
'No evidence that Remdesivir works in COVID-19 treatment'
"If we talk about other medicines which we use in COVID-19 treatment, 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 (sic)," Dr. Rana said, according to ANI.
Remdesivir was approved for emergency use last June
Remdesivir was approved for restricted emergency use for the treatment of coronavirus patients in India last June. It can be bought with a prescription, and only hospitals and pharmacies are permitted to stock it. Last month, the World Health Organization had said that findings from five clinical trials indicated the drug did not help in reducing severity and mortality among hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
Government has already dropped plasma therapy from guidelines
This development has come just days after the Indian government dropped the use of convalescent plasma therapy for treating coronavirus patients from its guidelines. The ICMR cited the method's ineffectiveness and inappropriate use in several cases for the decision. Just last week, several scientists and health professionals had written an open letter, warning against the "irrational" use of the procedure in India.
Use of other drugs, steroids also under the scanner
Meanwhile, drugs such as Ivermerctin and Hydroxychloroquine are also said to have low effectiveness against severe COVID-19 infection. Steroids are also being widely used to treat coronavirus patients in India. However, several experts, including AIIMS Director Dr. Randeep Guleria, have warned that misuse of steroids could be among the major reasons behind the surge in cases of the Black fungus infection in the country.
India's COVID-19 situation
India has been hit hard by a dreadful second wave of the coronavirus. In the last 24 hours, the country registered 2.67 lakh fresh infections and 4,529 fatalities, marking its highest daily death toll in the pandemic. Daily cases in India had peaked at nearly 4,15,000 just a couple of weeks ago. Only 3% of the Indian population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.