Supreme Court takes into account WHO report on Remdesivir, seeks Centre's response

Published: 29 October, 2020 18:00 IST | IANS | Mumbai

Remdesivir and Favipiravir are antiviral drugs and their efficacy in the treatment of Covid-19 patients is still under debate among the medical experts

Supreme Court
Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Thursday took into account a World Health Organisation report, indicating that Remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon regimens appeared to have little or no effect in the treatment of Covid-19. The top court sought a response from the Centre on a plea alleging that Remdesivir and Favipiravir are being used without approval.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian said after going through the report they noted that it is a serious matter.

Advocate M.L. Sharma, who appeared in-person, citing the WHO report published on October 15, submitted that several hundred trials have been carried out with Remdesivir and it is found that this medicine has little or no effect in the treatment of Covid-19.

Remdesivir and Favipiravir are antiviral drugs and their efficacy in the treatment of Covid-19 patients is still under debate among the medical experts.

"Interim results from the Solidarity Therapeutics Trial, coordinated by the World Health Organisation, indicate that remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon regimens appeared to have little or no effect on 28-day mortality or the in-hospital course of Covid-19 among hospitalised patients", said the WHO report. After a brief hearing in the matter, the top court issued notice to the Centre on the plea and sought a response within four weeks.

Sharma insisted that nowhere have these medicines been officially termed as successful in curing Covid-19 patients. The Chief Justice, issuing the notice, said, "we will make the government aware of this (WHO report)."

The WHO report said the study was carried out in more than 30 countries, and looked at the effects of these treatments on overall mortality, initiation of ventilation, and duration of hospital stay in the hospitalised patients. On September 16, the apex court had said that there was an approval by the Centre on the use of Remdesivir and Favipiravir as medicines in the treatment of Covid-19.

The petitioner had moved the top court seeking registration of an FIR by the CBI against ten Indian pharmaceutical firms for manufacturing and selling these two medicines allegedly without valid licenses.

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