Why the WHO advises against remdesivir, a major setback for Gilead

The World Health Organization’s decision is a fiasco for the Gilead laboratory, which has continued to defend the molecule despite accumulating evidence of its lack of effectiveness.

Hard blow for the pharmaceutical company Gilead. Remdesivir, the drug that the American company had developed to fight Ebola and that it is trying to reposition in the treatment of Covid-19, has just been ousted by the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO “Guidelines Development Group” has indeed published this Friday in the British Medical Journal, an update of its guide on the proper use of drugs in the context of the pandemic.

This is the second version of this guide – the first was published on September 4 – which aims to provide reliable advice on managing Covid-19 and to help doctors make better decisions for their patients. The group now “advises against” the use of Gilead’s drug regardless of the level of severity of the disease, because “there is currently no evidence that it improves patient survival, decreases their need for ventilation. or their length of stay in hospital, ”the document says. On the other hand, this product has many drawbacks, also stress the experts: the “possibility that it causes significant side effects”, implications in terms of resources and logistics, since the administration of remdesivir is done by intravenous route, and above all too high a price, since a 5-day treatment costs around 2000 euros.

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