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There’s Now an FDA-Approved Treatment for COVID-19

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Vial with lots of fine print on the label

A vial of remdesivir from one of the early clinical trials
Photo: ULRICH PERREY/POOL/AFP (Getty Images)

The FDA extended its first ever approval (not just an emergency authorization) for a drug to treat COVID-19. The drug is one you’ve probably heard of: the antiviral remdesivir, which has been in use in hospitals for the past few months.

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What is remdesivir?

Remdesivir, marketed under the brand name Veklury, is an antiviral. This means it interferes with the process by which the virus makes more of itself inside human cells. It was previously tested against ebola and hepatitis C, but never made it to market. Veklury is made by the pharma company Gilead, which charges $3,120 per course of treatment for insured patients in the U.S.

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Remdesivir is one of the treatments that President Trump was reportedly given when he contracted COVID-19, along with the corticosteroid dexamethasone, and an antibody cocktail made by Regeneron.

How well does it work?

That’s a tricky question. In its press release, Gilead points to a study showing remdesivir reduced time to recovery from 15 days to 10 days, which sounds great.

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But other studies have shown less benefit, and some experts are skeptical of whether it does anything useful at all. A recent trial conducted by the World Health Organization found that it didn’t save lives or shorten hospital stays. (The same trial also found no significant benefit to hydroxychloroquine.)

The FDA cites three trials, including the one with five days of improvement, in its announcement. Trials to determine how well remdesivir works are still ongoing, even after its approval.

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What does the approval mean?

A full approval requires “substantial evidence of effectiveness and a demonstration of safety for the drug’s intended use(s),” according to the FDA, including an evaluation of how the benefits compare to the risks for the population for which it’s approved.

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The approval allows the drug to be used in hospitalized patients, and should only be administered in a hospital. It’s approved for adults and for children who are at least 12 years old and at least 40 kilograms (88 pounds).

Remdesivir was previously available under an emergency use authorization, or EUA, which had less stringent requirements. (Hydroxychloroquine was available under an EUA earlier this year, but the EUA was revoked after further trial results showed that it did not seem to be effective.) At first, in May, the EUA for remdesivir was only for critically ill patients. Then, in August, the EUA was expanded to include all hospitalized patients. The EUA was revised again alongside the approval; now, the EUA allows doctors to prescribe it for children who don’t fall into the approved population.

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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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Apple will replace AirPods Pro for free with faulty noise cancellation, static or crackling

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Today, exactly one year after Apple first launched the AirPods Pro — and thus the same day the very first AirPods Pro owners will see their one-year warranties expire — Apple has launched a repair program that offers free repairs or replacements for another whole year if your AirPods Pro experience issues with noise cancellation or static.

Specifically, Apple will fix:

Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone

Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise

Apple says only a “small percentage of AirPods Pro” are affected by the issues, but it apparently wasn’t just an early batch — Apple says affected units were manufactured “before October 2020,” meaning every AirPods Pro ever made might be eligible. That’s quite a recall if so. Apple says it will repair faulty AirPods Pro for two years after you first buy them.

We’ve heard complaints about degraded noise cancellation before, and at least one Verge editor has replaced their AirPods Pro under warranty. It’s nice to hear that Apple isn’t just cutting buyers off as soon as that warranty expires.

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This 55″ 4K TCL Smart TV Hangs on Your Wall for $200

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

TCL 55″ S434 4K Smart TV | $200 | Best Buy

Best Buy has an insane deal going for a brand new 55″ 4K TCL smart TV. It’s the S434, which is pretty baseline for TCL’s lineup, but at just $200, there’s little to complain about. TCL’s panels are plenty sharp and accurate, and with this set, you’ll get HDR10 compliance for enhanced color and brightness in supported games and video content. This model has Android TV onboard for all your app needs, and with an included voice remote, all your favorite content is just a shout away with the help of Google Assistant.

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