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Remdesivir may be approved in Japan on Thursday: health minister


Gilead Sciences Inc's antiviral drug remdesivir may be approved in Japan for domestic COVID-19 patients when the health ministry's review board is held on Thursday, Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said.

Remdesivir was granted emergency use authorization last week by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for COVID-19, the highly contagious lung disease caused by the new coronavirus, and Gilead filed for fast-track approval in Japan on Monday.

Kato said on a TV news program on Tuesday if the review board gives its consent, he plans to approve it right away.

"Once imported, we would like to have it used by those who are suffering from serious conditions as soon as possible," Kato said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday extended a nationwide state of emergency to May 31, saying the new coronavirus infection rate had yet to drop enough to justify ending measures aimed at slowing the outbreak.

Even though Japan has not seen a huge outbreak compared with some global hotspots, there are more than 16,000 recorded cases, including 712 from the cruise ship previously quarantined in Yokohama, and 579 deaths, according to public broadcaster NHK.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Well, when Kato says, "Who could have known?" in a week when people start keeling over from side-effects, I hope he is held responsible. Because it certainly is not responsible at all to start administering this without adequate testing and information, simply because the US government is rushing as well. Good luck to the guinea pigs.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Projecting approval is not scientific.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I believe this is going to be a big mistake. This drug has no statistically significant decrease in the death rate. Just helps the people that dont die recover in 11 days instead of 14.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I wonder how many pockets have been padded in Japan. In the US, I did see a few weeks ago someone describing the links between Jared Kushner and Gilead via Blackstone...

This drug has no statistically significant decrease in the death rate. Just helps the people that dont die recover in 11 days instead of 14.

The article should mention this very important detail from the study. I hope the doctors who might be presribing this poison will be made aware of it.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Gilead have just donated it's total stock, capable of treating around 200,000 patients to US patients, though who will get them is not known. Priority - healthcare workers or VIPs? Donated = Free of Charge. Will take a while to build up more supplies, so don't expect any here for a while, unless it is manufactured under licence.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The race is on to patent a vaccine/treatment even if it doesn’t work. The money is so massive.

i recommend trumps advise to inject detol into your lungs...not.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

All these miracle medicines are all well and good. However they need to be used in the EARLY stages of catching the virus to have a chance of working. None are proving as magical panaceas for people in the advanced stages which show up in the unlucky % 2 or 3 weeks after getting the virus. So the issue in Japan since they do next to no testing is they barely catch anyone in the early stages to use the medicine with! They barely catch anyone in the advanced stage. For many it is only after they died, So it is another furphy just like the increase the testing capacity. They never test anywhere near the current capacity so what difference will it make if they increase the testing capacity if they don't change the testing policy!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So it's being released in Japan without the standard practice of human trials? Can we now expect other foreign-patented medications to become quickly available here? Didn't think so...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Ohh same company who sold Tamiflu without testing and got many law suits now...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Since this news is under 'politics', can we expect the US to approve immediate use of Avigan in return?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

maybe, what's maybe, if it's between death and living, i will take that chance,

is it Fuji film lobbying to block this?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

maybe, what's maybe, if it's between death and living, i will take that chance,

The showed no "significant difference" between life and death! It only shortened the hospital stay by a few days AND it has nasty side effects.

Why take the chance, just to leave the hospital a couple of days sooner?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Was used for ebola and it didn't work. False and dangerous hope.

There will likely never be an effective vaccine. Society will adapt and learn to live alongside this coronavirus. It already is in that process.

Life goes on, it always has. Humans are amazingly adaptable, the key to their survival and domination of the planet.

RIP to the ones who haven't survived this pandemic.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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