Exercise extreme caution in Remdesivir use: Centre

In revised advisory, Health Ministry says it is not suggested for patients with mild symptoms

The Health Ministry said on Monday that Remdesivir, a drug currently used in treatment of COVID-19, can be used only in select moderate/ severe hospitalised patients on supplemental oxygen, as it is a reserve drug approved under the Emergency Use Authorization based on limited scientific evidence globally.

In a revised advisory, it said the drug is not indicated in patients with mild symptoms who are in home care/ COVID Care Centres and that doctors are advised to exercise extreme caution in using this reserve/ experimental/ emergency use authorisation drug. The Ministry said the advisory is aimed at stopping the misuse of this experimental drug, which is relatively expensive, has limited availability and has a potential to harm.

To stop the misuse of the drug, the Ministry has recommended that Remdesivir must be advised by senior faculty members/ specialists directly involved in a patient’s care.

“If Remdesivir has to be advised/ ordered during odd hours, it should be done by the duty doctor after telephonic consultation with a senior faculty member/ specialist/ unit in-charge. Advise/ order for Remdesivir must be written and bear the name, signature and stamp of the concerned doctor,” said the Ministry.

It added that every hospital needs to set up a Special Drug Committee (SDC), which must review the use of Remdesivir in the hospital periodically. “Remdesivir should be procured and provided by the hospitals only; the patient’s attendants/ relatives should not be asked to procure Remdesivir from the retail market,” said the Ministry.

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