An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Washington Researcher Positive About Coronavirus Drug Trial


The doctor in charge of a research trial in Washington for an anti-coronavirus drug says results presented Wednesday are similar to what he’s seeing.

MultiCare is one of several health care providers around the country testing the drug Remdesivir with its patients who have Covid-19. Most of the 53 in Washington who have been given the drug are west of the mountains, but there are a handful in Spokane as well, says Dr. Vinay Malhotra, the study’s principal investigator.

“We have seen that most feel better and have actually gone back to work, but there are some that still feel tired and fatigued. The comment that I get is that I’m back to about 75% of where I was before this thing started. It’s a mixed bag, but definitely an improvement in cough, fever and chills," Malhotra said.

He says, of the 53, a little more than half of the patients have recovered and gone home. Three have passed away. Malhotra says they had more advanced symptoms of the disease when they received the drug.

He says the study with which he’s associated is different from that presented Wednesday at National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. His focus is whether a five-day regimen of Remdesivir is more effective than a 10-day program.

With all of the positive reviews of the research about Remdesivir, will there be a run on the drug such that there was with hydroxychloroquine?

“I’m hopeful that there won’t be any price gouging and it will be available at a reasonable price to every American who is sick or ailing with this particular illness and who is prescribed this medication by their physician," he said.

Malhotra says Remdesivir may turn out to be one of the tools available to treat Covid-19, but probably won’t be a miracle cure that will work for everyone.