just days before the F.D.A. granted approval, a large study sponsored by the World Health Organization found that remdesivir provided no benefit to hospitalized patients.
“I think most people think that because a drug is F.D.A. approved, that means it must work,” said Dr. Aaron S. Kesselheim, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who studies the drug industry. He and other researchers recently found that less than one-third of new drugs approved by the F.D.A. and its European counterpart over the past decade were rated as having a “high therapeutic value” by outside experts.
“I think it’s important to recognize that F.D.A. approval doesn’t guarantee a certain level of benefit — all it says is that there is some benefit,” he said.