Doctors have been singing the praises of the experimental antiviral drug remdesivir in the care and recovery of COVID-19 patients.
“What it is proving is that a drug can block this virus,” says Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Now Gilead Sciences, the company that makes the drug, presented research shows the drug reduced the death rate in severely ill patients by 62 percent. And that’s not all, 74 percent of the patients recovered by day 14. The drug shows to be more effective in treating patients under 65-years-old who don’t need as much oxygen.
Dr. Alan Williamson, Chief Medical Officer with Eisenhower Health in Rancho Mirage, says they are seeing results with coronavirus patients treated with the drug, “We have been using remdesivir in a number of our patients and it is in short supply.”
He says they have enough now but if the surge of COVID patients continues, soon there may not be enough to use on every patient.
“So we have committees that are really studying looking at who is most likely to benefit from that medication and we may have to ration that in the near future,” he says adding that making those choices will not be easy, “those are very, very difficult decisions to make, in some cases we may decide that we don’t think we should use the medication … because the patient’s outcome is likely to be very good but there may also be some cases where we have to decide that the outcome is so likely to be bad no matter what we do that we don’t use the medication.”
He says if it comes to that, it will put doctors in situations they don’t want to be in, “Those are the definitely the most difficult where we really want to do everything possible to save a life.”