According to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Tuesday, June 23, the DOH was just waiting for clearance for the trial from its ethics committee so that the drug could be issued regulatory clearance by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and be given to COVID-19 patients.
“Hopefully, by the second or third week of July, we could start the Avigan trial,” Vergerie said.
Japan in April said it would send the drug manufactured by Fujifilm Toyama Chemical Co., Ltd. to 38 countries including the Philippines after clinical trials in other countries.
Avigan has caught the world’s attention as a front-runner among treatment options for the illness it causes, COVID-19.
The drug had been effective in alleviating symptoms, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a news briefing on April 7, raising the prospect of offering Avigan to other countries.