Before Spending Billions, U.S. Hospitals Need to Study Remdesivir Further

Bloomberg Opinion
July 16, 2020

Under the U.S. government’s deal, remdesivir will cost hospitals $3,200 per course of treatment-notably a price 33% higher than that of other countries. The federal endorsement of this antiviral drug follows both shaky and outdated evidence, in need of updating as COVID-19 continues to evolve. Data show weakly confirmed drug benefits for COVID-19-recovery time and conflicting findings on mortality benefits. Published in Bloomberg Opinion, Dr. Peter Bach writes U.S. hospitals should conduct trials to include a representative age group of today’s COVID-19 and include drug comparisons, before investing billions on the drug. Dr. Bach speaks to this on Bloomberg Opinion Radio.
The central tenet of scientific research is that studies of smaller populations present findings that benefit the well-being of the population at large. As COVID-19 continually evolves and new therapies are approved and administered individually and in combination, the best way to apply this principle is to continue to test each treatment separately and together.