Japan Consent to Remdesivir For COVID-19 Treatment

Japan on Thursday sanction the antiviral drug remdesivir to treat coronavirus patients, the government said, with an eye to approve another medication Avigan this month.

This makes Japan the second country to US on approving the drug after US authorised it on Friday for emergency use against severe cases of COVID-19.

“Remdesivir was approved under exceptional measures,” a health, labour and welfare ministry official said.

“It was our country’s first such approval for the treatment of coronavirus patients,” the official told AFP.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said last week the government was getting ready to give a welcome to the experimental drug developed by US firm Gilead Sciences.

“The US go-ahead came after a major clinical trial showed remdesivir — originally developed to treat Ebola — shortened the time to recovery in some patients by a third.”

Remdesivir, which is administered by injection, was already made available to some patients who are in clinical trials around the world.

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