PH to get antiviral drugs for COVID-19 treatment trials

The Philippines is set to receive additional 1,000 vials of antiviral drug remdesivir for the ongoing World Health Organization (WHO)-led Solidarity Trials for potential treatment against COVID-19.

Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire
Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“So, this is good news for us because yun pong shipment ng remdesivir ay parating na po, pati ang interferon ,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire in an online forum.

“This would be the third shipment of remdesivir to our country where we are going to receive 1,000 vials coming from WHO,” she added.

The WHO-led Solidarity trial aims to test the safety and effectiveness of certain off-label drugs for possible treatment for COVID-19.

The participation of the Philippines in the global study was approved last April. The trial initially include the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine and antiviral drug ritonavir but these were discontinued in the trial because these drugs “produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care,” according to the WHO.

Meanwhile, Vergeire said that another drug will be included in the trial to study if it is effective against COVID-19.

“May bagong gamot na idadagdag but we will be informing all of you kapag na finalize na yung protocol , she said.

The Health official said there are 1,009 COVID-19 patients with moderate to severe symptoms in the country who are enrolled in the trials as of September 7.

The participants are from 24 study sites or hospitals in Metro Manila, Baguio, Batangas, Cebu and Davao, said Vergeire.