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CORONAVIRUS: REMDESIVIR, A POTENTIAL DRUG

CONTEXT:

Remdesivir, an anti-viral drug is in the news from 2 days as the US Food and Drug authority gave approval for the emergency usage of the drug to treat COVID19 patients. The drug is not a new one. It was already used in the treatment of Ebola. Gilead Science Inc., a US-based laboratory has done the clinical trials and found that Remdesivir has the potential to treat coronavirus better than those now available in the market.

Q: WHO SHOULD USE IT

Before knowing who should use it, let me clarify an important thing which many of us get confused. There is a difference between a vaccine and a drug. A vaccine is the one given to a normal person to prevent him from affecting the virus. Whereas, a drug is used for a patient who is already infected. For example, we take the polio vaccine even if we are not affected. Whereas, we take medicine for malaria only after we get infected.

Remdesivir is given to those who got tested positive for coronavirus and not for those who are normal.

Q: HOW WAS THE CLINICAL STUDY DONE?

In the month of March, Gilead scientists made 10 patients who got infected by Coronavirus consume Remdesivir drug. Then for FDA approval, scientists have performed more tests by dividing the patients between critically ill, mild symptomatic. Patients with mild symptoms got cured in 6-7 days and 31% of the people who are critically ill-got relaxation in 10-11 days. So, the scientists confirmed that Remdesivir is better than those available in the market. The mortality rate of Remdesivir is 8% while the other drugs are 11%.

Q: WHAT IS INDIA’S STAND ON THIS

After approval for Remdesivir by the FDA, Union Health Ministry Dr. Harsha Vardhan said that ” In this meeting, we discussed CSIR’s initiative towards combating the coronavirus including the progress on anti-body Remdesivir. I have urged them to develop enhanced synergy and good quality coordination for quicker and better results”. India is going to test 1000 doses of Remdesivir. It is believed that Gilead Science labs are in contact with Reddy’s labs for partnering with them to provide the drug in India. CISR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) is performing clinical trials to approve the usage of the drug in India.

If everything goes well, there is a possibility of getting the drug approved for treatment in India soon. Generally, FDA takes 3-4 months after completing the trials but, as the COVID19 pandemic is hitting the world hard, the FDA gave quick approval. The Gilead laboratories applied for the patents and keen to give license to the pharma companies in Europe, North America, and Asia.

-KRISHNA (FRONTLINESMEDIA)

 

 

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