Data shows remdesivir works better on certain COVID-19 patients

The severity of patients’ illness was rated on a scale of 1 (not hospitalized) to 8 (dead). The lowest score in the study was a 4, denoting hospitalization, but no need for extra oxygen. The largest group of patients scored a 5, meaning they did need oxygen.

Among patients who scored a 4, there was a 38% benefit in the speed of recovery. Among those who scored 5, there was a 47% benefit. But that benefit fell to 20% among those who scored a 6, meaning they were receiving high-flow ventilation, and a decrease of 0.05% among those who scored a 7, meaning they were intubated or on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Until more data are available, doctors and researchers are likely to debate whether to use remdesivir in sicker patients.