'Not a Life-Saving Drug': ICMR Suggests Safe Use of Remdesivir in Covid-19

News18
·2-min read

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Tuesday shared some suggestions for rational and safe use of Remdesivir in Covid-19 as the demand for the medicine has increased for treating coronavirus patients especially in Covid-hit states including Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka and others. The ICMR has said that the anti-viral drug Remdesivir is “not a life-saving drug in Covid-19” and does not reduce mortality.

Remdesivir is one of the investigational drugs approved for emergency use in treating hospitalized Covid-19 patients.

Suggestion for Rational and Safe Use of Remdesivir in Covid-19 are:

– Emergency use authorisation allows Remdesivir to be used as experimental investigational drug in selected clinical condition of Covid-19.

– Remdesivir is not a life-saving drug in Covid-19; studies do not demonstrate mortality reduction with its use.

– Evidence shows that Remdesivir reduces the duration of hospital stay.

– Remdesivir should be administered in hospital setting only.

– Remdesivir is advised for hospitalised patients who are moderately sick and receiving oxygen. It is to be given for a total period of five days only and within the 10 days of illness.

– Remdesivir shout never be administered in home setting.

– Unnecessary/irrational use of Remdesivir could be harmful.

Even AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Monday asserted that Remdesivir should only be given to patients hospitalised with moderate illness, who had a fall in oxygen saturation and have infiltrates on chest X-rays or CT-scan.

NITI Aayog member (Health) V K Paul had said that Remdesivir is not to be used in home settings and not to be procured from chemist shops. Data from studies so far have shown that Remdesivir does not have any effect in reducing the mortality in COVID-19, he said in support of Dr Guleria’s remark.

Meanwhile, social media is flooded with panic posts from family members and friends of infected patients requesting people for help in getting Remdesivir drug. If reports are to be believed, the prices of Remdesivir have doubled on the black market.

In view of the demand-supply gap, the central government has banned export of Remdesivir.

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