WHO discourages usage of Gilead’s Remdesivir for COVID-19

The World Health Organization has recommended stopping the usage of Gilead Sciences Inc’s Remdesivir to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients a month after US regulators allowed the drug a speedy approval.

A panel of WHO-convened experts developing COVID-19 treatment guidelines said in the BMJ medical journal, “There is currently no evidence that it improves survival or the need for ventilation.”


This was one of the drugs that President Donald Trump received when he was diagnosed with COVID-19 in early October. The drug offered a meaningful benefit in the treatment of coronavirus patients after a study showed it reduced their recovery time.

The expert made the recommendation after the results of a global trial sponsored by the WHO, found that Remdesivir didn’t reduce deaths. They also said that the drug ‘has no meaningful effect’ on the patients to clinically improve.

The results were published on 15 October and the US Food and Drug Administration approved the drug a week later. The decision was based on a trial run by the National Institutes of Health that showed Remdesvir indeed reduced hospitalized patients’ recovery time by five days.

Despite the discourse with the WHO, the FDA said in its review of Remdesivir that “There were no issues identified that would benefit from the discussion.”