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The antiviral medicine remdesivir from Gilead Sciences (GILD) failed to speed the improvement of patients with Covid-19 or prevent them from dying, STAT reports, citing results from a long-awaited clinical trial conducted in China. Gilead, however, argued the data suggest a “potential benefit.” A summary of the study results was inadvertently posted to the website of the World Health Organization and seen by STAT on Thursday, but then removed.

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  • “Gilead drug fails to help Covid-19 patients”? Why is STAT promoting such an inaccurate headline from a failed study? There is a fundamental difference between a FAILED STUDY (due to low enrollment and lack of statistical significance) and a failed drug. I did not expect STAT to act like pursuing sensational journalism.

    • Dear ACAD,

      Thanks for your note.

      And I appreciate your point of view. Headline writing is sometimes a bit of an art and successfully capturing the full scope of a complicated story is difficult.

      In this instance, the headline to which you refer came from the lead sentence of the story that was referenced. This is how the sentence reads: “The antiviral medicine remdesivir from Gilead Sciences failed to speed the improvement of patients with Covid-19 or prevent them from dying.”

      This was not an attempt to sensationalize anything. The drug failed to help patients. I understand your objection, but given space, the headline did characterize the study results correctly.

      That said, we will continue to do our best in headline writing.

      Hope this helps,
      ed at pharmalot

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