The use of remdesivir during the first wave of covid-19 could have reduced deaths from this virus in Spain by around 30% and the number of patients hospitalized with low-flow oxygen therapy treated in ICUs by 44%, according to the study ‘Impact of the introduction of remdesivir in Spain’, published by the magazine ‘Advances in Therapy’. The article, which has been reviewed by peers, analyzed the consequences that the administration of remdesivir would have had in Spain between February 20 and May 10, 2020, when the National Health System suffered the highest peak of hospital pressure and in many places even collapsed.
The study data show that remdesivir administration during the first wave would have reduced the number of patients hospitalized in Spanish ICUs by 43.71% (patients with pneumonia and on low-flow oxygen therapy) at this stage, having prevented the admission of 2,587 patients into them. Figures that would have made it easier for non-covid-19 patients who suffered from other urgent pathologies or covid-19 patients to have access to beds in critical care.
According to the study, if the Spanish health system had had to remdesivir during the first wave, the maximum occupancy of beds on the floor, which reached its maximum on April 5, 2020, with 32,264 beds, it could have been reduced by 17.53%, which translates into a release of up to 5,656 beds.
Even more impact would have had the remdesivir in intensive care, where the highest occupancy occurred on April 17, with 7,088 beds occupied. Since this antiviral improves the clinical status of patients with coronavirus and pneumonia who require low-flow oxygen therapy, remdesivir would have reduced the ICU stay by up to 23.98%, which translates into a release of up to 1,700 beds.
Developed by the pharmaceutical company Gilead for the fight against Ebola, remdesivir is an antiviral that works by inhibiting the replication of SARS-Cov-2. On July 9, the European Medicines Agency announced that it gave the green light to its use in the most serious patients, that is, adults and children over twelve years of age who suffer from pneumonia and require oxygenation.. Previously, in May, the United States Food and Drug Administration authorized the emergency use (when there is no alternative) of remdesivir for the treatment of covid patients. In Spain, 15,000 people have been treated with remdesivir.