Mother Jones

BITTER PILL

about the coronavirus, in April there was a buoy: A major clinical trial showed that an antiviral medication called remdesivir shortened the length of time that patients are sick with COVID-19, from a median of 15 days down to 11. The FDA had already rushed to approve research on the compound—an underperforming Ebola drug—and when the trial results came in, the agency quickly authorized it for emergency use. There are caveats: It’s not clear whether the drug reduces a patient’s risk of dying from the disease, and a small Chinese study showed no benefit. Still, doctors are hopeful that remdesivir will help reduce strain on hospitals and buy time for researchers to develop other treatments and

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