Another clinical trial of remdesivir – this time with hospitalized patients having moderate COVID-19 – yielded disappointing and strange results. The first randomized trial showed a modest benefit in patients with severe COVID, so theoretically the drug should have worked better in patients who weren't as sick. But, it didn't.
randomized controlled trials
The foundation of medical research, which is considered the gold standard, is the Randomized Controlled Trial when individuals are matched with others, and then randomized to one treatment or another. While the beauty of an RCT lies in its process of deliberate randomness, very little attention has been paid to the integrity of its building blocks: categories. It's time to take a more in-depth look.
It's only one trial, and we don't even know if the report is correct. But a leaked draft report indicated that remdesivir was ineffective in its first controlled trial. Let's assume that this is true and we see the same from other trials. If so, this will not simply be another experimental drug failing. It will be deeply disturbing. Here's why.
Preliminary data, obtained from a randomized clinical trial of remdesivir in China, look bad. Maybe even very bad. But this doesn't mean that the drug won't be shown to be useful in other trials. Nonetheless, not good news.
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