Tuesday’s Yomiuri, Mainichi, and Nikkei wrote that U.S. pharmaceutical firm Gilead Sciences said on Monday that it has filed an application with the Japanese health ministry for the use of its anti-viral drug remdesivir for coronavirus treatment. The papers wrote that the ministry is planning to approve the drug within a week through a fast-track approval process. Wednesday’s Yomiuri wrote that Health Minister Kato said on a TV program on Tuesday that his ministry plans to approve remdesivir on Thursday. Kato reportedly said that the ministry will approve the drug quickly if it receives the endorsement of the Pharmaceutical Affairs and Food Sanitation Council. Asahi wrote that the Health Ministry is planning to control the distribution of remdesivir for the time being to preferentially provide the drug to medical institutions treating patients in serious condition.
In a related development, the papers wrote that Prime Minister Abe told the press on Monday that the GOJ intends to approve the use of the anti-flu drug Avigan for COVID-19 treatment by the end of this month.