Remdesivir and the Treatment of COVID-19
The WHO has issued a conditional recommendation against the use of remdesivir after reviewing data from 7,000 patients enrolled in four randomized controlled trials. This data showed no effect on mortality, the need for mechanical ventilation, the time to recovery, and other patient outcomes. The initial study published by the NIAID, the NIH division run by Dr. Anthony Fauci, also showed no statistically significant impact on mortality.
A recent peer-reviewed retrospective study that looked at the use of HCQ in combination with zinc and an antibiotic demonstrated an 84% reduction in hospitalization for high-risk patients over 60; under 60 with shortness of breath; and under 60 with specific pre-existing conditions like diabetes and morbid obesity using untreated publicly available data. It is not the type of random controlled, double-blind study Dr. Fauci calls the “gold standard,” but is typical for treating physicians, like lead author Dr. Zev Zelenko.
And as Dr. Risch noted in his original review of research on the use of HCQ in high-risk outpatients in May, the statistical significance found in patients treated with the HCQ combinations versus those who were not cannot be explained by lack of randomization or sample size. His conclusion was HCQ should be made widely available to high-risk outpatients due to low risk and significant statistical benefit that could not be explained by error or process.
He also compares risks of HCQ to the remdesivir trials, where between 5% to 12% of participants had to drop out because of adverse side effects. Risch also notes the low occurrence of adverse events in the studies and in decades of use in the billions of doses and the rates of outpatient use outside the U.S.