FDA eyes special permits for investigational COVID-19 drugs

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 20 2020 11:25 AM

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MANILA - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Monday it would issue special permits for the use of investigational drugs favipiravir and remdesivir on COVID-19 patients who were not included in clinical trials.

As of July 6, 576 patients in the Philippines are participating in the World Health Organization's clinical trials for possible COVID-19 treatments, the Department of Health earlier said.

The FDA had also greenlighted clinical trials for anti-flu drug Avigan, FDA director-general Eric Domingo said.

"Hindi naman lahat pwede maka-join sa trial katulad ng remdesivir sa Solidarity Trial. We allow expanded access to these trial drugs by issuing compassionate special permit for their use," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(Not all patients can join clinical trials, for example the SOlidarity Trial where remdesivir is used.)

"Pag ang doctor nakita niya na kakailanganin talaga ng kaniyang pasyente ang gamot na ito, maaari siyang humingi ng special permit sa FDA para makapagimport at makabili ng gamot na ito at magamit sa kanilang pasyente kahit hindi kasama sa trial 'yung kanilang pasyente."

(If the doctor sees that his patient needs this drug, he can request for a special permit from the FDA to import and buy this drug for his patient who was not included in the clinical trial.)

Domingo said the FDA is also in the "late stages" of approving traditional Chinese medicine which authorities earlier seized for being sold without the agency's approval. 

The Philippines as of Sunday reported 67,456 cases of the novel coronavirus, with 22,465 recoveries and 1,831 deaths.