FDA authorizes remdesivir for emergency use as coronavirus treatment

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The Food and Drug Administration has authorized the antiviral drug remdesivir for emergency use in treating coronavirus cases, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn announced in an impromptu Oval Office meeting on Friday afternoon. Daniel O’Day, the CEO of Gilead Sciences, which produces the drug, also attended the meeting with administration officials.

O’Day said that Gilead would continue to work with the administration and said the company is working to increase its supply of IV remdesivir, which does not cure the disease but may help shorten its duration. Hahn thanked O’Day for the company’s collaboration with the administration and praised FDA officials for work in responding to the pandemic.

“This is an important clinical advance,” Hahn said about remdesivir, calling it “the first authorized therapy for COVID-19.”

Dr. Deborah Birx, the leader of the White House coronavirus task force, also praised O’Day and the drug, which shortened the recovery time for some coronavirus patients in a recently completed clinical trial.

“This is our first really positive step forward,” Birx said.

In a statement announcing the emergency use authorization, the FDA said that “given there are no adequate, approved, or available alternative treatments, the known and potential benefits to treat this serious or life-threatening virus currently outweigh the known and potential risks of the drug’s use.” – READ MORE

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