The Manila City government acquired an additional 2,000 doses of remdesivir, an antiviral drug used to treat COVID-19.
Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso confirmed the arrival of the antiviral treatment on Tuesday (March 23).
“Dumating na po ‘yong additional order ko ng Remdesivir. Kung maalala niyo noong nakaraang taon, ang inyong pamahalaang lungsod ay nakabili ng 2,000 pieces. Ay, napaka mahal po nitong gamot na ito. Ito po’y gamot na nakakatulong po ito (My additional order of Remdesivir has arrived if you remember last year the city government bought 2,000 pieces. This medicine is very expensive. This is a medicine that can help),” he said in a live broadcast on Facebook.
The city government acquired a Compassionate Special Permit (CSP) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2020 to be able to purchase the medicine.
Veklury or Remdesivir, developed by the American biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, has been approved for temporary use as a COVID-19 treatment in other countries.
“Nakakatulong ito sa mga virus ayon sa mga pag-aaral…nakabili uli tayo ng 2,000 vials nitong remdisivir, ‘yan po ay nakatutulong sa mga, yung medium and severe situation, nakakatulong po siya (It helps with viruses according to studies … we were able to buy 2,000 vials of remdisivir again, this helps those in medium and severe situations, it can help),” Domagoso added.
The local chief executive said remdesivir is not the cure for the deadly disease but it can still help save lives.
“Hindi siya perpekto pero marami po siyang buhay na nailigtas (It is not perfect but it has saved many lives.).”
The Remdesivir is an antiviral medication that targets a range of viruses which includes Ebola, SARS, Marburg, MERS, and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The antiviral treatment has helped several severe COVID-19 patients to recover quicker, which was “defined as being medically stable enough to be discharged from the hospital,” according to NIH.
Studies suggested that Remdesivir treatment may prevent patients from progressing to more severe respiratory disease. It also appeared that it is beneficial for “patients who were receiving supplemental oxygen.”
Domagoso said the city government is willing to lend the antiviral treatment to other hospitals in the country if they need it.