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NAFDAC disregards Remdesivir to fight Covid-19

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Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, has said NAFDAC is not considering the use of the Ebola drug, remdesivir, for the treatment of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

Prof. Adeyeye stated that remdesivir has only been found effective in the later stage of COVD-19 or in the severe case of COVID-19.

She said that the drug, remdesivir, was still under development and costly, adding that it would also not be commercially available.

The United State’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at the weekend, authorised emergency use of the Ebola drug, remdesivir
for treating the coronavirus.

The authorisation means the anti-viral drug can now be used on people who are hospitalised with severe COVID-19.

A recent clinical trial showed the drug helped shorten the recovery time for people who were seriously ill. However, it did not significantly improve survival rates.

Experts have warned the drug – which was originally developed to treat Ebola, and is produced by Gilead Pharmaceutical Company in California – should not be seen as a “magic bullet” for coronavirus.

The drug interferes with the virus’s genome, disrupting its ability to
replicate.

During a meeting with US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office, Gilead Chief Executive Daniel O’Day said the FDA authorisation was an important first step.

The company would donate 1.5 million vials of the drug, he said. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn also said at the meeting: “It’s the first authorised therapy for COVID-19, so we’re really proud to be part of it.”

Reported by: Vincent Paul

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