WHO Expert Questions The Supply And Accessibility Of Antiviral Drugs

WHO Expert Questions The Supply And Accessibility Of Antiviral Drugs

May 5, 2020, 8:09 a.m.

The World Health Organization's chief scientist is questioning the supply and accessibility of antiviral drug Remdesivir.

Her comments follow a United States Food and Drug Administration decision last week to authorize the emergency use of the drug to treat coronavirus patients.

In an interview with NHK, the WHO's Soumya Swaminathan said that different countries will consider a similar approach, while they wait for full licensing procedures.

She said, "The question is going to be whether there are enough supplies of Remdesivir available and whether these will be able to be made available in all the countries that might want access to it."

Swaminathan warned that any efforts by a country or group of countries to hold a monopoly of any drug or vaccine would be in vain. She explained that is because nobody can be safe in the current pandemic unless the world unites to contain the virus.

She also referred to anti-flu drug Avigan, developed by a Japanese company.

Swaminathan noted there was insufficient data to determine whether the drug is effective for coronavirus patients.

She said she was looking forward to seeing results from clinical trials that are underway.

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