The United States today authorized the use of the antiviral drug Remdesivir to treat patients with covid-19, although the pharmaceutical company that produces it has warned that its effectiveness has not yet been proven.
The US President Donald Trump, announced today that the drug received an “emergency permit” of the Federal Food and Drug Administration of the United States.
“It is a pleasure to announce that Gilead now has an emergency FDA authorization for Remdesivir. And this is because it is an important treatment for patients hospitalized with coronavirus, ” said Trump.
Trump added that the drug has promising behavior and will only be used in a hospital setting in critically ill patients.
The American President spoke with Gilead Executive Director Daniel O’Day, who was grateful for FDA approval, adding that his company will donate one million doses of Remdesivir to the healthcare system.
This week, Trump had already expressed a desire for the federal agency to accelerate the drug approval process, which is administered intravenously.
The FDA admitted today, in a statement, that there is “limited information” about the safety and efficacy of Remdesivir to treat the new coronavirus, explaining, however, that it authorized its application because a recent clinical trial showed that the drug decreases the time of recovery of some patients.
The federal agency refers to the study by the United States National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, whose preliminary results concluded that Remdesivir “reduces the recovery time for patients hospitalized with covid -19, compared to a placebo.”
The results, released on Wednesday, indicate that the 1,063 patients hospitalized with covid -19, who were given Remdesivir, had a 31% faster recovery in 11 days, while those given a placebo recovered in 15 days.
The mortality rate was also lower in the first group.
The pharmaceutical company Gilead had already announced that it is increasing the manufacture of the drug, with the production of about 140,000 units by the end of May and one million by December, planning “to be able to produce several million” in 2021.