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Remdesivir approved for coronavirus treatment

  • May 8, 2020
  • , All national papers
  • JMH Summary

All national papers wrote that the Health Ministry on Thursday approved the antiviral drug remdesivir for COVID-19 treatment, saying that it will be administered only to patients in serious condition. While noting that the ministry will manage the domestic distribution of the drug for the time being since supplies from the U.S. will probably be limited, Nikkei said the GOJ is expected to ask Gilead Sciences to provide a stable supply. Mainichi claimed that the GOJ approved the drug swiftly in order to secure a sufficient supply of it, explaining that the ministry took only three days to screen and approve the U.S. pharmaceutical company’s application by using an “exceptional approval” mechanism. The papers noted that some Japanese doctors are skeptical of the drug’s effectiveness in reducing the virus’s mortality rate. They have also expressed concern about its potential side effects and the possibility of the emergence of a virus strain with antimicrobial resistance, underscoring the importance for Japan to conduct its own clinical tests to verify remdesivir’s performance independently.

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