Japan starts special approval process for remdesivir
Japan’s Health Ministry has begun a special approval process for the antiviral drug remdesivir as a potential treatment for Covid-19, NHK reported.
The approval process could be completed in around a week, the public broadcaster said without citing anyone. The move by Japan comes just after US regulators cleared the drug for emergency use in Covid-19 patients.
Remdesivir would be the first Covid-19 treatment drug available in Japan if it is cleared for use. With limited supplies, it’s likely to only be available at specific hospitals under the ministry’s jurisdiction during early stages, NHK said.
FDA allows emergency use of remdesivir, the first drug shown to help coronavirus patients
U.S. regulators on Friday allowed emergency use of an experimental drug that appears to help some coronavirus patients recover faster.
Remdesivir is the first drug shown to help fight COVID-19, which has killed more than 230,000 people worldwide.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved emergency use of experimental anti-viral drug remdesivir to treat patients with COVID-19.
The authorisation was announced by President Donald Trump on Friday and granted to Gilead Sciences Inc, which will donate 1.5 million vials of the drug to help patients.
During a meeting in the Oval Office with Mr Trump, Gilead chief executive Daniel O’Day called the move a significant step towards easing the coronavirus crisis.
“We want to make sure nothing gets in the way of these patients getting the medicine, so we made a decision to donate about 1.5 million vials.”
Mr O’Day said on Wednesday that the drug had helped improve outcomes for patients with COVID-19, and provided data suggesting it worked better when given earlier in the course of infection.
The closely watched drug has moved financial markets in recent weeks, following the release of several studies that painted a mixed picture of its effectiveness.
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