Japan has said it will approve the antiviral drug, Remdesivir, to treat coronavirus patients on Thursday.

Against earlier disapproval by the World Health Organisation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved remdesivir for the treatment of coronavirus infection.

The drug which is sold under the trade name Veklury is the first drug to be approved for the treatment of COVID-19, though it has since been used for treatment under emergency authorisation.

A World Health Organisation-sponsored global study earlier this month suggests remdesivir is not effective in the treatment of the coronavirus. It found that patients did not survive or even recover faster under the drug’s administration.


A U.S. study however found the infused drug shortening patients’ recovery time markedly, even by a third in some patients.

Gilead Sciences, the drug’s manufacturer said “Veklury should only be administered in a hospital or in a healthcare setting capable of providing acute care comparable to inpatient hospital care.”

“In the United States, Veklury is indicated for adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older and weighing at least 40 kg) for the treatment of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization,” the company said in a statement.

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