67% of doctors say Remdesivir should be administered earlier

75% of global physicians treating COVID-19 rate Remdesivir with low to moderate efficacy and find current Remdesivir indication confusing

Plasma perceived as most effective treatment for the last five weeks

New York – May 21, 2020 – Week 8 (May 11 to 13) results from Sermo’s COVID-19 Real Time Barometer with 4,756 physicians reveal COVID-19 treatment patterns among frontline physicians. In total, Sermo’s Barometer study includes over 42,900 survey interviews in 31 countries including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Brazil, Russia, China, Japan and Australia. Complete data published to date and study methodology can be found here

*Results provide physician observations, but are not a substitute for official medical guidelines or clinical trials. 

Remdesivir Usage is Growing, Particularly in the ICU

  • Overall, 25% of global physicians report using Remdesivir, up from 15% in mid-April. 
  • Usage in the United States is higher vs ‘rest of world; 29% vs 21%. 
  • In the US, the share of physicians using Remdesivir (29%) has increased by two-thirds since mid-April (at 17%) and currently nearly half (44%) of US physicians treating critical patients in ICU have used Remdesivir, an increase from 25% in mid-April.

The Earlier the Better with Remdesivir, but this Contradicts Official Indication 

The current official indication for Remdesivir is for severe COVID-19. However, two-thirds (67%) of physicians believe Remdesivir is best administered earlier, for all moderate patients in the hospital before their symptoms become severe. Over three-quarters (77%) of physicians express confusion with the official indication. 

Surveyed physicians shared:

  • “The official indication appears to exclude the period in which it would theoretically be most effective, during virus replication, i.e., the early stages of infection prior to clinical decompensation.”
  • “​All viral infections need to be treated earlier, at the onset, not later, when complicated.”
  • “I’m not sure if we have to wait for respiratory failure in order to begin treatment, or can we start it sooner to prevent progression?”
  • “​If we wait too long to use it, the patient becomes too critical, and we can’t overcome the illness.”

Remdesivir Seen as Only Moderately Effective 

As they develop a better understanding of the virus and the drug, physicians rating Remdesivir reveal an evolving perception of the treatment and are reaching a common agreement on the moderate effectiveness of Remdesivir.

Global Physicians’ Overall Perceived Effectiveness of Remdesivir

Nearly half of global physicians (48%) rate Remdesivir as moderately effective.  As we examine the trend since mid-April, we note the perception of Remdesivir being moderately effective has increased from 37% to 48%, while the perceptions of it being highly effective and ineffective have decreased.

US Doctors aren’t Fully Bought In to Remdesivir

A similar trend is seen in the US, where more where more physicians are using Remdesivir and more are seeing the treatment as moderately effective; however, they have a less positive view of Remdesivir than physicians around the world. The impression of Remdesivir having lower efficacy is higher in the US vs internationally. Only 18% of US physicians rate it as highly effective vs 25% of physicians in other countries. 

Perceived Efficacy and Safety of Various Treatments

For the past five consecutive weeks, roughly half of global physicians surveyed have stated they perceive Plasma to be the most highly effective and safe treatment for COVID-19. 

This week perceptions of Remdesivir’s safety and efficacy remain the same, with only 25% of global physicians finding it highly effective. 

Efficacy and safety perceptions of Hydroxychloroquine and Remdesivir are quite similar. Our data shows that physicians perceive both Hydroxychloroquine and Remdesivir to be more effective earlier in the disease progression. 

About the Real Time Barometer

The Real Time Barometer is an observational study of the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak as reported by physicians with firsthand experience of treating COVID-19 patients. Each week, thousands of physicians provide insights on topics regarding the global health crisis. To date, more than 43,000 doctors in 31 countries, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Brazil, Russia, China, Japan and Australia, have participated in the Barometer.

About Sermo

Sermo is the largest healthcare data collection company and social platform for physicians, reaching 1,3MM healthcare professionals 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 sermo.com.

Media Contact:

Angela Crawford