In February 2021, researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO) published a study looking at the relative efficacy of a variety of treatments for COVID-19 (WHO Solidarity Trial Consortium. Repurposed antiviral drugs for COVID-19 — Interim WHO Solidarity Trial Results. N Engl J Med. 2021 Feb 11;384(6):497-511.)

WHO researchers randomized 11,330 adults with COVID-19 who had been admitted to 405 hospitals in 30 countries to receive either remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir, or interferon beta-1a. They found that no drug reduced mortality, overall or in any subgroup. The authors concluded, “These remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir, and interferon regimens had little or no effect on hospitalized patients with COVID-19, as indicated by overall mortality, initiation of ventilation, and duration of hospital stay.”

The lack of an available rescue drug for COVID-19 as demonstrated by this study further underlines the critical importance of vaccines to prevent this disease.

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