WHO published the living guideline on drugs for COVID-19

On September 4, 2020, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) online published an article entitled: A living WHO guideline on drugs for covid-19.

This guideline reflects an innovative collaboration between the WHO and the MAGIC Evidence Ecosystem Foundation, driven by an urgent need for global collaboration to provide trustworthy and living covid-19 guidance. A standing international panel of content experts, patients, clinicians, and methodologists, free from relevant conflicts of interest, produce recommendations for clinical practice. The panel follows standards, methods, processes, and platforms for trustworthy guideline development using the GRADE approach. 

The panel made a strong recommendation for use of corticosteroids in severe and critical covid-19 because there is a lower risk of death among people treated with systemic corticosteroids (moderate certainty evidence), and they believe that all or almost all fully informed patients with severe and critical covid-19 would choose this treatment. In contrast, the panel concluded that patients with non-severe covid-19 would decline this treatment because they would be unlikely to benefit and may be harmed. Moreover, taking both a public health and a patient perspective, the panel warned that indiscriminate use of any therapy for covid-19 would potentially rapidly deplete global resources and deprive patients who may benefit from it most as potentially lifesaving therapy.

This is version 1 of the living guideline. Work is under way to evaluate other interventions. New recommendations will be published as updates to this guideline. For more information, please visit: https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3379.