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US approves COVID-19 treatment drug
Veklury as it is branded shortened the course of illness from an average of 15 days to about 10 days in hospitalized patients.
Gilead Sciences – the drug-maker, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Remdesivir, an antiviral drug, as the treatment drug for coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, according to a news report
Remdesivir becomes the first drug to be approved for treating Covid-19 ever since the pandemic broke out. The drug, sold under the brand name Veklury, has been used in the US under emergency use authorization since May.
The drug-maker, Gilead Sciences, also said that Veklury is specified for adults and pediatric hospitalized patients (12 years of age and above who weigh at least 40 kg) for the treatment of COVID-19.
Gilead Sciences also recommended that Veklury (Remdesivir) should only be administered in in-patient hospital care or in a healthcare setting for acute infection cases.
The antiviral has shown, at best, a modest benefit for coronavirus patients as a US study found the infused drug shortened recovery time for some patients by about 33% even though a World Health Organization(WHO)-sponsored global study earlier this month found Remdesivir did not help patients survive or even recover faster.
The US FDA approved the antiviral drug based data study published in the New England Journal of Medicine Gilead Sciences submitted which showed that the drug shortened the course of illness from an average of 15 days to about 10 days in hospitalized patients.
Dr. Stephen Hahn, US FDA Commissioner, said that the approval which represents an important scientific milestone in the eradication of COVID-19 outbreak is supported by data from multiple clinical trials that the agency has rigorously assessed.
The Commissioner also hinted that as part of the FDA’s Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program (CTAP), the agency will continue to help move new medical products to patients as soon as possible, while at the same time determining whether they are effective and if their benefits outweigh their risks.
In expressing her disappointment in the results of the clinical trials using the drugs, Rick Bright, a former Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), told a new report agency that the data showed that the benefits of Remdesivir were rather modest and quite unimpressive drug show that the benefit was modest.
He remarked that even though it showed some marginal benefit, it was not a home run neither was it a remarkable improvement in terms of mortality, or even the lengthening or shortening of the length of hospital stay.
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