Sermo reports jury is still out on Remdesivir; 31% of physicians who have used Remdesivir rate it as highly effective; 31% rate it with low effectiveness; 38% rate it as somewhere in the middle

Plasma rated as most safe and effective treatment; 57% of physicians who have used Plasma rate it as highly effective; 60% rate it as safe 

Efficacy of treatments as seen by 430 COVID Supertreaters (physicians who’ve treated 20+ COVID patients)

New York, New York – April 23, 2020 Sermo, the largest global healthcare polling company and social platform for physicians, has released Week 4 data from its Real Time Barometer study of 5,500 physicians in 30 countries revealing the emergence of treatment patterns and efficacy perceptions. To date, Sermo has conducted studies with over 20,000 physicians over 4 weeks and has published unrestricted access to the results of its studies on

*Results represent subjective opinions of COVID-19 treating physicians using various treatments and not the results of clinical trials.

Key Findings:

In Week 4, Sermo explores perceptions of physicians who were high vs. moderate vs. low treaters of COVID-19 patients, as well as physicians practicing in different settings (hospital (excluding ICU), non-hospital, and ICU). The total number of physician respondents for Wave 4 was 5,500.

COVID-19 “Supertreaters”

In this Wave, we explore the perceptions of highly experienced COVID-19 treaters, which we call “Supertreaters,” and define as physicians who treat 20+ COVID-19 patients in a particular setting: hospital, non-hospital, or ICU. Of the total number of respondents (5,500), 26% were COVID-19 treaters (n=1,444) and of those, 30% of treaters (n=430) were “COVID Supertreaters.”

Remdesivir Users

In total, 15% of all COVID-19 treaters (218 physicians) have used Remdesivir in this study. Of those Remdesivir users, 40% (88 physicians) were “COVID Supertreaters.”

Usage of Treatments (base=1,444; all COVID-19 treaters who’ve used drug in settings>)

The top three drugs that are used are still Azithromycin, Hydroxychloroquine, and Bronchodilators. The percent of physicians having used Hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir, High-Dose Steroids, Anti-HIV drugs, Plasma and Tocilizumab were higher in hospital vs. non-hospital settings, while Vitamin C was more used in a non-hospital setting.

Perceived Efficacy

Plasma is perceived to be most effective vs. any other treatment. Of physicians who have prescribed Remdesivir, the percent who perceive it as effective is similar across settings ~30%.

Perceived efficacy of Hydroxychloroquine for all treaters is 30% and varies widely by setting (from 38% outside of hospital down to 24% in the ICU). Supertreaters rate Hydroxychloroquine slightly lower (28%), and among Supertreaters in the ICU, perceived efficacy is 19%. Though Hydroxychloroquine usage appears to be lower in non-hospital vs. hospital settings, perceived efficacy is higher in non-hospital settings. This may suggest Hydroxychloroquine is more efficacious in milder cases.

Tocilizumab bears attention, as it appears to be emerging as a relatively effective treatment option among physicians in hospital settings (52% rate it as very/extremely effective, though it lags with a 27% rating within ICU.)

Overall Perceived Efficacy of All Treatments by Setting

(Efficacy: % of physicians who rate the drug very or extremely effective; chart reflects all treaters who have used drug in respective setting)

Perceived Efficacy by “COVID-19 Supertreaters”

(Efficacy: % of physicians who rate the drug very or extremely effective among Supertreaters, physicians who’ve treated more than 20+ COVID-19 patients in respective setting)


As expected, safety for vitamins, minerals, Azithromycin and Bronchodilators is perceived to be high. Plasma had the highest safety profile among the more novel or advanced treatments for COVID-19 (Remdesivir, drugs to treat flu, Anti-HIV drugs, Hydroxychloroquine, Tocilizumab).

Overall Perceived Safety of All Treatments by Setting

(Efficacy: % of physicians who rated the drug very or extremely safe; chart reflects all treaters who have used drug in respective setting)

“Plasma (human antibodies from recovered COVID-19 patients) is compelling because plasma antibodies were the treatment of choice for bacterial pneumonia before the introduction of Penicillin. The question is availability and scalability. In the past, we have scaled up antibodies by producing them in sheep and horses, so it would be interesting to look into monoclonal antibodies. Personally, I use antimalarials with azithromycin, high-dose steroids and vitamin C, sometimes an IL-6, and I also use melatonin and zinc. Lastly, we are using treatments that work on multiple fronts, and we may want to look into the efficacy of these combinations vs. just single drugs. We also suspect different efficacy of different drugs for different patient types,” said Mark Rumbak, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care at the University of South Florida and Sermo member.

“Until we have access to randomized clinical trials with a placebo arm, observational studies of physicians are an effective way to gather and share critical insights,” said Peter Kirk, CEO of Sermo. “Sermo represents the voices of physicians, which is why we are highly focused on sharing our real-time learnings as effectively as possible to better support those on the front lines.”


A sample size of 250 point estimates have a precision of a +/- 6% at a 94% confidence level. Where sample sizes are smaller, N sizes are noted. Thirty countries included in the study are the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Turkey, Poland, Russia, Finland, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Greece, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Australia, China, India, and Israel. No incentive was offered to respondents. Full methodology.

 About Sermo

Sermo is the largest healthcare data collection company and social platform for physicians, reaching 1,3MM HCPs across 150 countries. The platform enables doctors to anonymously talk real-world medicine, review treatment options via our proprietary Drug Ratings platform, collectively solve patient cases, and participate in medical market research. For more information, visit