Efficacy of Remdesivir in COVID-19 | Infectious Diseases | JAMA | JAMA Network
[Skip to Navigation]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 18.207.129.82. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
Editorial
August 21, 2020

Efficacy of Remdesivir in COVID-19

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, UPMC Health System and The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 2Department of Critical Care Medicine, UPMC Health System and The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 3Associate Editor, JAMA
JAMA. 2020;324(11):1041-1042. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.16337

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has strained health care systems across the globe, necessitating drastic public health measures and prompting a fervent search for effective treatments. The experimental antiviral drug remdesivir (manufactured by Gilead) was granted Emergency Use Authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration in May 2020 for patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19.1 At the time, there had been 2 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) that had compared a 10-day course of remdesivir with placebo. The first, by Wang and colleagues,2 failed to show benefit but recruited only 237 patients and may have been underpowered. The second, the National Institutes of Health–sponsored Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT-1), randomized 1063 patients and found that those assigned a 10-day course of remdesivir had a recovery time that was shorter by 4 days (median, 11 vs 15 days) compared with placebo.3 No significant difference was found in mortality between drug (7.1%) and placebo (11.9%) (hazard ratio, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.47-1.04). Since the Emergency Use Authorization was granted, there has been a huge demand for remdesivir from both patients and physicians, generating considerable debate over how to ensure adequate, equitable, and affordable access.4,5

×