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Despite US nod, check Remdesivir use: Docs

The US Food and Drug Administration’s approval to Gilead’s anti-viral drug, Remdesivir for adult and pediatric (12 years and above) Covid-19 hospitalised patients, may not lead to its rampant use as a treatment option in India. Doctors say only restricted or emergency use of Remdesivir in Indian patients should continue till more robust data emerges, reports Rupali Mukherjee .

As against this, Remdesivir was granted a full regulatory go-ahead on October 22, becoming the first drug for Covid-19 to receive USFDA approval. The approval comes even as the recent WHO’s solidarity trials showed that the drug was ineffective in reducing mortality or duration of hospital stay. Earlier in May, Veklury or Remdesivir was authorised only for emergency use by the US regulator.

Indiscriminate use of the drug in patients in India needs to be curbed as nearly all scientific studies showed it was ineffective in reducing mortality or duration of hospital stay, doctors told TOI. It is approved for only restricted emergency use at present.

“The WHO solidarity trial has generated data that is clear and robust. I don’t think that we should let the US FDA drive our treatment protocols. Physicians have a moral imperative and an ethical obligation to use interventions that are proven, are known to save lives and are cost-effective”, Dr SP Kalantri, professor of medicine, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram said.

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