Govt issues licenses to import 55,000 vials of Remdesivir to treat COVID-19 patients

Published On:  May 1, 2021 06:15 PM NPT By: Ehimalayan

KATHMANDU, May 1: The government has permitted four companies to import 55,000 vials of Remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Remdesivir is an investigational broad-spectrum antiviral agent, which has been proven efficient in vitro activity against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It is now considered as a potential therapeutic agent against COVID-19 that is helpful mainly to the patients who need ventilator support to fight against the pandemic. 

With soaring cases of the coronavirus infections in the past few weeks, the government has sought to increase the supply of the medicine that is considered to save the lives of COVID-19 patients. According to the Department of Drug Administration, the aforementioned quantity of the medicine is expected to enter Nepal in the next one week. Last week, the regulator issued licenses to import 30,000 vials of Remdesivir from Bangladesh. 

In contrast to the government report, the World Health Organization (WHO), however, has not strongly recommended using the medicine to treat COVID-19 patients. Last November, the WHO through a caution notice, issued a conditional recommendation against the use of Remdesivir in hospitalized patients, stating there was no evidence that Remdesivir improves survival and other outcomes in these patients. 

But a study conducted by Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC) in February this year shows that the medicine has been effective in treating COVID-19 patients. The NHRC in its study report stated that 84 percent of the patients – moderate and serious ones – recovered and were discharged after getting the antiviral drug.

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