Dr Dawes gives nod to Government's Remdesivir plan

News

Dr Dawes gives nod to Government's Remdesivir plan

BY KIMBERLEY HIBBERT
Senior staff reporter
hibbertk@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, October 26, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!


Amid global controversy surrounding the use of Remdesivir to treat COVID-19 patients, local surgeon Dr Alfred Dawes is supporting the Government's decision to administer the drug under a special use provision.

When contacted by the Jamaica Observer for a comment in relation to Jamaica using the drug that was once frowned upon in the earlier stages of the onslaught of COVID-19, Dr Dawes asserted that the contention lies with people mistaking Remdesivir for a vaccine, when that is not its purpose.

“There are misconceptions because people hear about Remdesivir, and they are linking it to vaccines and it is not a vaccine, it has nothing to do with a vaccine. It works completely different from a vaccine,” he said.

The controversy around its use arose because the verdict on its effect is still out, due to scientific studies positing that there is no benefit to COVID-19 patients. However, Dr Dawes explained that in medicine, while studies may not conclusively support a medication, in lieu of another treatment option the drug can be offered with hopes of patient improvement in dire circumstances.

“A lot of times studies change. Chloroquine was supposed to be very good, then they stopped one study saying there is no benefit. Then they restarted the study saying that there is a benefit, so these things change with time. There are other treatments like steroids, that goes and comes and there may be a benefit in a select number of patients, so you don't necessarily buy a whole stock or trailer load and say you're going to hit everybody with it. But, in selected patients there may be a benefit. However, when you give it to everybody, when you pool the resource overall, you may not get a great benefit,” Dr Dawes explained.

“Usually, if a clinician is giving that medication it's on a selective basis, where you just want to try something to see if you can save a life because everything else you're trying is not working. It's not like you're going to broad scale give everyone or force everyone to take it. You have a discussion with the patient and the family and then, based on that, you may decide this is somebody who is very sick and nothing is happening, however, the conditions that they currently have, the Remdisivir may help in that person and you give them a shot,” he said.

Meanwhile, Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton said the use of the drug was based on available scientific evidence, including that published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the approval of the drug's use by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

He reiterated that the drug is for special use and will be administered on a trial basis with requirements for the doctor to record the impact and effect of its use.

“It's a trial drug under emergency approval circumstances. Once all the rules apply from the patients' perspective with their knowledge and consent, as well as the write up on impact and effect, then we are comfortable until we discern more scientific information and validation around the drug,” Tufton said.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaper-login


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT