Remdesivir linked to quicker clinical improvement in COVID-19 patients

Hospitalized COVID-19 patients treated with remdesivir at Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Medicine demonstrated faster clinical improvement than patients who did not receive the drug, according to a study published March 24 in JAMA Network Open.

Researchers analyzed data on 2,438 patients with COVID-19 who were hospitalized across the system's five hospitals between March 4 and Aug. 29, 2020. Of these patients, 184 received remdesivir and corticosteroids, and 158 received remdesivir alone. About 80 percent of patients who received remdesivir were not white.

The median time to clinical improvement for remdesivir recipients was five days, compared to seven days for matched control patients.

Patients treated with remdesivir had a 7.7 percent 28-day mortality rate. The control group had a 14 percent mortality rate, though this difference was not statistically significant when researchers performed a time-to-death analysis. Adding corticosteroids to a patient's treatment regimen was not linked to reduced mortality.

"These results provide further evidence that remdesivir may be effective in reducing the duration of COVID-19 illness, that a [five]-day treatment course may be sufficient, and that patients with milder disease likely benefit most," study authors said. "The inclusion of a larger proportion of patients from underrepresented minority groups provides much-needed evidence suggesting the effectiveness of remdesivir administration in these groups."

To view the full study, click here.

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