Medical Technology

Remdesivir is a vaccine that can be kept out of the Hospital: Study

Editor’s note: Get the latest COVID-19 news and guidelines in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

Remdesivir, an antiviral intravenous drug given mostly to COVID-19 patients who are seriously ill in hospitals, could prevent people who are not vaccinated from becoming infected out of the hospital if administered on an outpatient basis, a new study suggests.

Researchers looked at 562 people who had not been vaccinated between September 2020 and April 2021, according to the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study revealed that the danger of dying or being hospitalized was 87% lower for those who received Remdesivir compared to those who received placebo.

All participants were at risk of risk of developing severe COVID-19 due their age — they were over 60 years old -or because they had an underlying medical condition such as diabetes or obesity.

Important caveat: The results were based on research prior to the Omicron variant’s spike late in the year or the Delta variant surged in the previous season, The Washington Post published.

According to a new study, the drug could help keep unvaccinated people out the hospital. This is crucial as the Omicron increase is threatening health systems around the globe.

Remdesivir could be a boon for COVID-19 patients living in parts of the world that don’t have vaccines, or for patients who have immune-compromised systems.

“These findings suggest that a 3-day course of remdesivir may play a vital role in helping COVID-19 sufferers stay out of hospital,” Robert L. Gottlieb (MD, PhD), the therapeutic lead for COVID-19 at Baylor Scott & White Health in Dallas stated in a Gilead Pharmaceuticals news release.

“While our hospitals are prepared to assist patients in need however, prevention and early intervention are preferable to reduce the chance of illness progression and allow patients who don’t require oxygen to recover from home when appropriate.”

Remdesivir was the very first antiviral treatment for COVID-19 that was approved by the FDA. It was administered to President Donald Trump when he was hospitalized with COVID-19 in October of 2020.

Gilead released the study findings in September.


New England Journal of Medicine – “Early Remdesivir To Prevent the Progression To Severe COvid-19 In Outpatients.”

Washington Post – “Remdesivir could help keep high-risk, unvaccinated people with covid-19 out hospitals, study shows.”

Gilead Pharmaceuticals: Gilead Announces New England Journal of Medicine Publication of Data demonstrating Veklury(r), (Remdesivir). Significantly reduced risk of hospitalization in high-risk patients with COVID-19

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