Britain’s first coronavirus medicine is approved for use and can shorten recovery time from 15 to 11 days.
Regulators have approved Britain’s first medicine to treat coronavirus – a drug that was originally intended for use on Ebola victims. Clinical trials suggest that Remdesivir can shorten recovery time for Covid-19 sufferers by an average of four days, from 15 to 11.
A standard formal licence approval would normally take months but the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said the anti-viral drug can be prescribed before this is complete.
Hospital doctors are allowed to give Remdesivir to Covid-19 patients aged over 12, while clinical trials with the manufacturer Gilead Sciences continue. Health secretary Matt Hancock said we are “leading the world in clinical trials”, adding: “We will be prioritising the use of this treatment where it will find the greatest benefit.”
The move boosts efforts to find an effective treatment and improve NHS capacity to cope with a potential second wave of the disease.