Remdesivir is the first drug approved for treatment of COVID-19 but current evidence for recommending its use for the treatment of moderate-to-severe disease is still controversial among clinical guidelines. We performed a nationwide, registry-based study including all Italian hospitalized patients with COVID-19 treated with remdesivir to assess the impact of major confounders on crude 15-day and 29-day mortality. Mortality was calculated using the Kaplan-Meier estimator and the Cox proportional-hazards model was applied to analyze the risks by patient's baseline features. In total, 16,462 patients treated with remdesivir from 29 October 2020 to 17 December 2020 were entered in the study. Crude 15-day and 29-day mortality were 7.1% (95% CI, 6.7-7.5%) and 11.7% (95% CI, 11.2-12.2%), respectively. Being treated within two days of admission reduced the risk of death by about 40% (HR 1.4, 95% CI, 1.2-1.6). Results from the largest cohort of remdesivir-treated patients suggests that mortality in SARS-CoV-2 hospitalized patients is substantially influenced by the days between SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis and drug prescription. Current recommendations and future clinical trials for remdesivir alone or in combination should carefully consider the target population and timing for best efficacy of treatment.
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