South Korea approves emergency use of Remdesivir to treat COVID-19

WION Web Team Seoul, South Korea Jun 03, 2020, 10.01 AM(IST)

Remdesivir Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Gilead Sciences Inc's Remdesivir, which is administered intravenously, is the first drug to show improvement in COVID-19 patients in formal clinical trials.

South Korea has approved the emergency use of Remdesivir to treat COVID-19 after a government panel last week cited positive results for the anti-viral drug in other countries.

Gilead Sciences Inc's Remdesivir, which is administered intravenously, is the first drug to show improvement in COVID-19 patients in formal clinical trials.

South Korea's Ministry for Food and Drug Safety made the announcement on Tuesday.

Gilead reported the drug provided a modest benefit in patients with moderate COVID-19 given a five-day course of the treatment, on Monday.

The US Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorisation (EUA) last month, citing results from a United States government study that showed the drug reduced hospitalisation stays by 31%, or about four days, compared to a placebo. Japanese health authorities have also approved use of the drug.

Under the guidelines, doctors can administer one dose of remdesivir a day, with five doses overall for patients with moderate symptoms, and 10 doses for patients with severe symptoms and who need oxygen support.

The ministry said it would cooperate with Gilead, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other ministries to swiftly import the drug.

All patients must undergo a liver function test before taking the drug as possible side effects include elevated levels of liver enzymes.

South Korea has so far reported 11,590 coronavirus cases with 273 deaths.