FACT CHECK: Remdesivir is still approved by US FDA to treat COVID-19, Pola Regalario

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FACT CHECK: Remdesivir is still approved by US FDA to treat COVID-19
Remdesivir's emergency use authorization was revoked when its new drug application was approved on April 25

Claim: The intravenous antiviral drug remdesivir (sold under the brand name Veklury) was disapproved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for failing its test trials.

After discussing Elon Musk and his feud with the founder of World Economic Forum (WEF) Klaus Schwab, the video posted by Facebook user “Elon Musk Zone” on December 12 revived false claims about the COVID-19 pandemic. It claimed that COVID-19 vaccine side effects like heart attacks and blood clotting were initially kept from the public but acquiesced that they were proven to be safe, before bringing up the current false claim being fact-checked.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The Facebook video making the false claim has over 173 reactions, 37 comments, and 5,100 views as of writing. The video made the false claim to show how Musk was supposedly needlessly persecuted compared to other billionaires like Bill Gates.

The bottom line: The US FDA did not disapprove the use of remdesivir to treat COVID-19 patients. It revoked its emergency use authorization when remdesivir’s new drug application (NDA) had been approved on April 25. Remdesivir is still listed in the US FDA’s Approved Drugs Database under NDA 214787.

Conditional: On November 20, 2022, the World Health Organization had recommended against the use of remdesivir to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients because there was no sufficient evidence that it improved the condition of patients at the time. But the recommendation had been updated on April 22, 2022. 

WHO’s “living guideline” for COVID-19 treatment currently includes a conditional recommendation for remdesivir to treat severe COVID-19 patients. WHO, however, still doesn’t recommend the drug for critical COVID-19 patients. – Pola Regalario/

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