The antiviral drug remdesivir has been recommended for the treatment of Covid-19 patients in Australia, by the national taskforce bringing together the country’s peak health groups.
The National Covid-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce said Australian doctors treating adults with moderate, severe or critical Covid-19 should consider using the drug to aid recovery times.
The antiviral drug is the first medication to be recommended as a considered treatment for patients treated in hospital after contracting coronavirus.
Originally developed for the treatment of Ebola, clinical trials have shown remdesivir may improve recovery time for people with moderate to critical Covid-19 symptoms.
The taskforce’s executive director, Associate Professor Julian Elliott, said while it was early days it was a significant step forward.
“This is the first information we have that a drug has a beneficial effect as a treatment for Covid-19,” he said.
“The preliminary data published so far from two clinical trials indicate that it can reduce the time for someone to recover from Covid-19.