On Thursday, US regulators approved remdesivir (Vvklury), an antiviral medicine, to treat COVID-19. This is the first drug that has been approved to treat the virus.
President Trump was treated with the drug when he was infected with the virus.
In their press release, the FDA wrote, “The approval of Veklury was supported by the agency’s analysis of data from three randomized, controlled clinical trials that included patients hospitalized with mild-to-severe COVID-19.”
In a study led by the US National Institutes of Health, remdesivir reduced the average recovery time from 15 days to 10 days. The drug had been approved to be used on an emergency basis since spring, but now the Food and Drug Administration has authorized it for full use, for individuals at least 12 years old and weighing at least 88 pounds.
However, specific kidney and liver tests are needed before a patient can be treated with remdesivir. It is given through an IV to hospitalized patients.
A study done by the World Health Organization in 20 countries concluded that the drug does not prevent death in patients with Covid-19.
The FDA commissioner, Stephen Hahn said, “Today’s approval is supported by data from multiple clinical trials that the agency has rigorously assessed and represents an important scientific milestone in the Covid-19 pandemic.”