WHO creates living guideline on pharmacological interventions for COVID-19

The World Health Organisation, in collaboration with the MAGIC Evidence Ecosystem Foundation, has published a ‘living guideline‘ that evaluates pharmacological interventions for COVID-19.

The guideline reflects the urgent need for up-to-date COVID-19 guidance, and its recommendations were developed by an international panel of content experts, patients, clinicians, and methodologists.

After conducting a living systematic review and network meta-analysis of data from eight randomised trials, the panel strongly recommended the use of corticosteroids in patients with severe and critical COVID-19. This is because the risk of death is lower among people treated with systemic corticosteroids.

However, corticosteroid use does not benefit and may in fact harm patients without severe COVID-19. In addition, the panel warned that indiscriminate use of any therapy will deplete global resources, depriving the patients who need it most.

The guideline will be updated as new information comes to light to create an evolving resource on the most effective interventions for COVID-19.