Does Earlier Remdesivir Initiation Improve COVID-19 Recovery Time?

One study, presented at the Critical Care Congress, found that initiating remdesivir (Veklury) earlier did not significantly reduce the recovery time of hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Remdesivir was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients. However, one study, presented virtually at the 51st Critical Care Congress, questioned whether it was truly effective. Remdesivir is the current standard of care for hospitalized COVID-19 patients. In January, the FDA expanded their approval to allow remdesivir to be administered in qualified outpatient settings to treat non-hospitalized adult and adolescent persons at high risk of severe or fatal COVID-19.  The study, presented yesterday by lead author Marissa Campagna, PharmD, RPh, investigated whether early remdesivir initiation from time of COVID-19 diagnosis improved recovery time.  The retrospective analysis reviewed adult COVID-19 patients discharged from August 1-October 31, 2020. Data collected included patient demographics, comorbidities, microbiology, oxygen requirements, and concomitant COVID-19 treatment therapies.  A total of 444 patients received remdesivir therapy and met the inclusion criteria for the final study cohort. The majority of patients (72.9%) received remdesivir within 0-3 days of COVID-19 diagnosis. The cohort was 49.8% male and 84.7% white, with an average age of 70.5 years. Upon presentation to the hospital, 55.4% required nasal cannula. At 95.9%, the vast majority had at least 1 comorbidity; 65.5% had cardiovascular disease and 57.0% were obese.  The primary endpoint of the study was time to clinical stability from PCR-testing positive for COVID-19 to initiation of remdesivir: 0-3, 4-6, 7-10, and 11+ days. The average time to recovery was 7.5 days for the 0-3 day group, 11 days in the 4-6 day group, 8 days in the 7-10 day group, and 5 days in the 11+ day group. Thus, there was no statistically significant difference between the 4 groups (P=0.19). The investigators concluded that initiating remdesivir earlier did not significantly reduce time to recovery. They recommended further study into how useful, if at all, remdesivir is in treating hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The study, “Evaluation of Early Remdesivir Initiation in COVID-19 Patients From Time of Confirmed Diagnosis,” was presented on April 18, 2022, during the 51st Critical Care Congress.

Remdesivir was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients. However, one study, presented virtually at the 51st Critical Care Congress, questioned whether it was truly effective.

Remdesivir is the current standard of care for hospitalized COVID-19 patients. In January, the FDA expanded their approval to allow remdesivir to be administered in qualified outpatient settings to treat non-hospitalized adult and adolescent persons at high risk of severe or fatal COVID-19.

The study, presented yesterday by lead author Marissa Campagna, PharmD, RPh, investigated whether early remdesivir initiation from time of COVID-19 diagnosis improved recovery time.

The retrospective analysis reviewed adult COVID-19 patients discharged from August 1-October 31, 2020. Data collected included patient demographics, comorbidities, microbiology, oxygen requirements, and concomitant COVID-19 treatment therapies.

A total of 444 patients received remdesivir therapy and met the inclusion criteria for the final study cohort. The majority of patients (72.9%) received remdesivir within 0-3 days of COVID-19 diagnosis. The cohort was 49.8% male and 84.7% white, with an average age of 70.5 years. Upon presentation to the hospital, 55.4% required nasal cannula. At 95.9%, the vast majority had at least 1 comorbidity; 65.5% had cardiovascular disease and 57.0% were obese.

The primary endpoint of the study was time to clinical stability from PCR-testing positive for COVID-19 to initiation of remdesivir: 0-3, 4-6, 7-10, and 11+ days. The average time to recovery was 7.5 days for the 0-3 day group, 11 days in the 4-6 day group, 8 days in the 7-10 day group, and 5 days in the 11+ day group. Thus, there was no statistically significant difference between the 4 groups (P=0.19).

The investigators concluded that initiating remdesivir earlier did not significantly reduce time to recovery. They recommended further study into how useful, if at all, remdesivir is in treating hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

The study, “Evaluation of Early Remdesivir Initiation in COVID-19 Patients From Time of Confirmed Diagnosis,” was presented on April 18, 2022, during the 51st Critical Care Congress.

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