There was a lot of hope when early reports indicated that the drug Remdesivir was helping some coronavirus patients, but a closer look at the clinical trial reveals that its effects are minimal, if any. In fact, all it accomplished was a slight decrease in “time until clinical recovery.” So why is this drug still getting so much attention?
As usual, all roads lead to Big Pharma, from the unwarranted praise for this drug to the smear campaign launched against natural remedies like zinc or vitamin C and even other less profitable drugs like hydroxychloroquine.
Remdesivir makers Gilead Sciences stand to make a lot of money off the drug, yet many experts are not convinced it has value in treating COVID-19 patients. In fact, Acute Care Surgeon Mark Hoofnagle said on Twitter, “I am truly sorry to say, Remdesivir is probably worthless.”
He went on to explain that he feels “some fascinating drug company shenanigans” are behind the drug’s recent attention.
The drug was given emergency approval by the FDA after Gilead was allowed to change the clinical trial’s outcome goals in order to fit the poor results they had been achieving. The truth is that while those who took the drug and recovered from coronavirus did so a little faster than those who didn’t take it, there was no significant difference in the number of people who died from the disease.
A summary of the real results of the trial was accidentally posted on the World Health Organization’s website before being quickly taken down. A few days later, however, the FDA gave emergency approval to Gilead for a seven-year monopoly on the drug, and they even waived the usual FDA fees. It’s hard to imagine that anything other than a conspiracy between the FDA and Big Pharma is behind the odd moves.
What is happening with hydroxychloroquine seems to support this theory. Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, pointed out that the anti-malaria drug was long said to be safe by the WHO as well as the FDA, but they changed their tune when it demonstrated an impressive survival rate when used to treat COVID-19 patients during the later stages of the disease, especially when taken in conjunction with zinc.
That’s when we started to hear about its supposedly horrific side effects. The effort to discredit the medication shouldn’t be surprising at all when you consider that it’s an off-patent generic drug that cannot rake in billions for pharmaceutical companies. In fact, it costs mere pennies per dose.
The experimental antiviral drug remdesivir was originally developed as a treatment for Ebola. It blocks an enzyme in the body needed for the virus to make copies of itself, which theoretically could limit symptoms and the disease’s spread. Side effects seen in studies include liver damage, nausea and vomiting.
A pair of pharmacy experts from the University of Sydney wrote in The Conversation that the results of the new trial of the drug should be treated with caution. First, they point out that it has not been peer reviewed. Moreover, other trials into the drug, including one in China, have not found the same promise. While the drug may be effective, it’s too early to say if it’s “as effective as we need it to be.”
While remdesivir may have a slightly positive effect on the disease, it’s far from the miracle cure that so many around the world have been praying for, and pinning too much hope on this controversial medicine could stop other potentially more effective treatments for coronavirus from being explored.
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