Avigan anti-flu tablets arrive at Sta. Ana Hospital for clinical trials on COVID-19 patients

Sta. Ana Hospital, one of the six district hospitals in Manila, has received 1,300 tablets of the Japanese anti-flu drug Avigan, the city government said Tuesday night (Aug. 18).

Sta. Ana Hospital received a total of 1,300 tablets of the Japanese anti-flu drug Avigan (Manila PIO)

The hospital is one of four facilities in the country chosen by the Department of Health (DOH) to conduct clinical trials using the anti-flu drug for coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19 patients).

The Manila Infectious Disease Control Center, where the city's COVID-19 patients are being treated, is also located in Sta. Ana Hospital.

The three other hospitals where the clinical trials will start are the Philippine General Hospital in Manila, Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital in Caloocan, and Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the clinical trials in the country will begin on Monday (Aug. 24). The drug will be distributed to 100 patients in these four hospitals for nine months.

Avigan is used to treat influenza patients in Japan and reportedly yielded good results after being used to treat COVID-19 patients in China, especially those with mild symptoms.

The national government earmarked P18 billion for the Avigan clinical trials.