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U.S. approves drug disputed by WHO for COVID-19 treatment

The controversial drug, which is sold under the trade name Veklury, was approved on Thursday.

• October 22, 2020
Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump speaks to the press as he makes his way to board Marine One from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on September 24, 2020. – Trump is on a two-day campaign swing through North Carolina and Florida. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

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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