Britain Gets Approval For First Coronavirus Medicine
The clinical trials of remdesivir showed that the drug can shorten recovery time for COVID-19 patients by an average of four days, from 15 to 11 days initial recovery period.
Formal licence approval takes months but the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said the anti-viral drug can be prescribed before the approval is finalized, Mirror UK reports.
Hospital doctors can now give remdesivir to COVID-19 patients over 12 years old, while clinical trials with manufacturer of drug, Gilead Sciences continues.
The move boosts efforts to find an effective treatment and improve UK’s National Health Service (NHS) capacity to cope with a potential second wave of the disease.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock during a daily Downing Street briefing said;
This is probably the biggest step forward in the treatment of coronavirus since the crisis began.
These are very early steps but we are determined to support the science and back the projects that show promise.
This comes as daily death figures in the UK fell to 134, the lowest in six weeks, and no new deaths in Northern Ireland for the first time since the pandemic started.
As at Wednesday morning, total death toll, according to UK’s Department of Health, was 37,048.
But 47,300 coronavirus deaths have been officially recorded because data from Office for National Statistics, where COVID-19 is mentioned on death certificates, is combined with NHS England deaths data following a positive test.
The news on remdesivir comes after a hospital in Weston-super-Mare had to stop taking in patients over UK’s bank holiday when it hit maximum capacity amid an influx of COVID-19 cases.
Remdesivir’s approval comes as it is paramount to control the risk of the NHS being overwhelmed and to get patients treated quickly, to free up vital intensive care beds
We are leading the world in clinical trials. We will be prioritising use of this treatment where it will find the greatest benefit.
President Donald Trump has said the US is putting its “full power and might” behind remdesivir too.
It is the first approval by the MHRA under its Early Access to Medicines Scheme, which allows legal access of unlicensed medicine.
According to worldometers, a COVID-19 data update platform, 265,227 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the UK as at Wednesday morning, May 27.