Malaysia To Allow Antiviral Drug Remdesivir For COVID-19 Patients In The Country

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has approved applications to bring in Remdesivir in the country.

Cover image via European Pharmaceutical Review

COVID-19 patients in the country will soon be treated with Remdesivir

It's an experimental antiviral, intravenous medicine which has been identified as one of the four most promising treatments against COVID-19 by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has approved a couple of applications to bring in the antiviral drug into the country, according to Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The ministry, Dr Noor Hisham said, is now looking to introduce the drug to patients.

"There were applications to bring it (Remdesivir) into the country and we have approved one or two of them," he said during his press conference on COVID-19 in Putrajaya yesterday.

"Insya Allah, we will try to introduce this new medicine to our patients."

Currently, MOH is using several off-label antiviral drugs and medicine used for malaria to treat the coronavirus patients in the country

Dr Noor Hisham said that the hospitals are currently using chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, and a combination of Lopinavir/Ritonavir, which is used as an antiviral for HIV patients.

The current treatment has resulted in almost 25% recovery in the country.

As of Friday, a total of 767 patients have recovered and discharged from hospitals nationwide. The cumulative total number of positive cases is 3,116. So far, 50 deaths have been reported.

Malaysia has been picked by WHO to conduct research on remdesivir, which was initially trialled as a possible treatment against Ebola:

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