Japan Approves Remdesivir Use in Coronavirus Patients

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, May 7 (Jiji Press)--Japan's health ministry on Thursday approved the use of the antiviral drug remdesivir in patients with the novel coronavirus, using fast-track screening procedures.

Health minister Katsunobu Kato gave the greenlight after the drug gained the backing of the Pharmaceutical Affairs and Food Sanitation Council, an advisory panel to the ministry.

The approval made remdesivir the first COVID-19 treatment in the country. Its practical use is expected to start as early as later this month.

"We hope it will lead to a recovery of severely ill patients and we'll make efforts to secure necessary supplies to deliver them to hospitals as soon as possible," Kato told reporters after the approval.

Remdesivir was developed by U.S. pharmaceutical firm Gilead Sciences Inc. as an Ebola therapy. Clinical tests have found that the drug showed some benefits in treating coronavirus patients.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press