In the midst of a global crisis, scientists are trying to solve an epistemologically intractable question. Defining whether a drug “works” has never been easy, a task vexed by methodological uncertainty, commercial pressures, statistical errors, or sometimes straight-out bad practices. Facing a new disease, researchers have to rethink what success even means. Is it lower mortality? Less disability upon recovery? Faster recovery? The answers are cryptic because the questions are just educated guesses.
Health officials in the US have announced that the Trump administration has bought almost the entire world’s stock of the Covid-19 drug remdesivir. Despite its ability to shorten the recovery times (by around four days) of some coronavirus patients, remdesivir has not been found to significantly improve an individual’s chances of surviving the disease.
Below is an updated list of 19 of the most-talked-about treatments for the coronavirus. While some are accumulating evidence that they’re effective, most are still at early stages of research. We also included a warning about a few that are just bunk.
Researchers are exploring more reliable alternatives to the antiviral Covid-19 drug Remdesivir after results showed it could effectively reduce a hospital stay but not the mortality rate.
On Wednesday, researchers announced that they had “positive data” in regards to a potential treatment for COVID-19. Clinical trials for Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug remdesivir, which was developed to treat Ebola, showed a “clear-cut positive effect in diminishing time to recover,” according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.