WHO trials find Remdesivir ineffective in treating COVID-19

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 16, 2020   •   405

Results of clinical trials showed that Remdesivir is ineffective in treating patients with COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Interim results from the Solidarity Therapeutics Trial, coordinated by the World Health Organization, indicate that REMDESIVIR, appeared to have little or no effect on 28-day mortality or the in-hospital course of COVID-19 among hospitalized patients,” according to the WHO report.

Remdesivir is initially a treatment for the ebola virus and there have been previous evidence that it may also be used in treating COVID-19.

The WHO said they will evaluate other treatment options for the solidarity trials in 500 hospital sites.

Due to this, the Department of Health (DOH) said they might halt administering the said drug in the Philippines.

“Kapag dumating tayo doon sa point na ang isang gamot ay matagpuan or makapagbigay ng ebidensya base doon sa mga nakukuha nating resulta sa mga pasyenteng binibigyan nito na hindi siya effective at tsaka nakakapagbigay siya ng more harm than good, puwedeng itigil ang mga gamot na iyan during the course of the trial,” Department of Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

The WHO had previously stopped the use of hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir last June and July after finding evidence that the drugs are ineffective in treating COVID-19 patients under solidarity trial in various countries.

Meanwhile, Vergeire said the WHO will use the chemotherapy drug acalabrutinib in their solidarity trial. She also added that the agency is currently exploring other anti-viral drugs in their trials.

“Dinagdag ng WHO iyong gamot na Alcalabrutinib this is a chemotherapeutic regimen na isa na po siya sa idadagdag natin sa treatment arm ng WHO solidarity trial, she said.

The DOH, will release on Monday (October 19) an update on the initial results of the solidarity trial conducted in the country as well as in other countries. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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Lifting of face shield mandate in Manila remains — Mayor Isko

Maris Federez   •   November 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso maintained that his Executive Order lifting the mandatory use of face shields will continue to be enforced in the capital city.

Domagoso made the clarification following Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s statement saying that such issuances are null and void.

“Well, he is entitled to his opinion. As far as the Local Government Code is concerned, it is within the power of the local chief executive under Section 16, the general welfare clause. His opinion is as good as mine,” Domagoso said in an interview.

“We, the local government unit and all other elected official, have a responsibility to take care of our people. Kami (ang) binoto ng mga tao. Sila, inupo lang ng mga kung sino,” he added.

Mayor Isko also cited the provision of the Local Government Code that states that every local government unit “shall exercise the powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient and effective governance, and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare.”

Domagoso on Monday signed Executive Order No. 42 removing rules requiring the wearing of face shields in the city.

Face shield requirements, however, will remain in effect inside health facilities.

Manila was the first city in the capital region to make an official issuance on the removal of face shield rules.

This was after the Metro Manila Council agreed to urge the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to repeal its rules on the mandatory use of face shields.

The 47-year-old mayor claimed that the low COVID-19 infection rates in the city, which resulted from the local government’s mass vaccination program, justified his order.

“As far as Manila is concerned, we are vaccinated, the people. We have a low infection (rates). The people of Manila deserve some ease. And that’s what we’re after. Tao muna,” he said.

Calling face shields the ‘face of corruption,’ Domagoso called on the national government to focus on purchasing live-saving medicines instead.

“Ito ang mukha ng corruption. Nasa mukha ng mga Pilipino. Baka hindi pa ubos yung binili nila. Wala naman bisa. Bili sila (ng) tocilizumab tsaka remdesivir. Makakatulong iyon sa tao,” he said.

FDA, may babala vs mga ospital na maniningil ng higit kaysa COVID-19 drug price cap

Robie de Guzman   •   September 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Binalaan ng Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ang mga ospital na maniningil ng higit kaysa itinakdang price cap para sa mga gamot na ginagamit para sa mga pasyenteng may COVID-19.

Sa panayam sa programang Get it straight with Daniel Razon, sinabi ni FDA director general Eric Domingo na maaaring patawan ng parusang pagkakakulong at suspension ng lisensiya ang mga ospital gayundin ang mga botika na nagbebenta ng COVID-19 drugs na mas mahal kumpara sa price ceiling.

Ginawa ng FDA ang babala kasunod ng mga ulat ng overpricing sa mga gamot na ginagamit sa treatment ng COVID-19 patients tulad ng Remdesivir at Tocilizumab .

“Pag ospital po, kwestyonable ang presyo, at least yung quality sigurado tayo dahil yung ospital hindi naman yan bibili, bawal po silang bumili sa unlicensed distributor. Pero mayroon silang pananagutan dahil lumalagpas po sila sa retail price na pinapayagan po ng DOH,” ang paliwanag ni Domingo.

Alinsunod sa kautusan ng DOH, nasa P8,000 hanggang P28,000 ang suggested retail price ng Tocilizumab na ginagamit sa treatment ng critical hanggang severe COVID cases.

Nasa P1,500 hanggang P8,200 ang retail price ng bawat 100 milligram vial ng Remdesivir.

Samantala, kaugnay naman ng pagkakaloob ng compassionate special permit o CSP sa COVID-19 drugs, inihayag ni Domingo na halos lahat ng ospital sa bansa ay may special permit na para sa isa o dalawang gamot kontra COVID-19.

Dagdag pa nito, hindi masyadong istrikto ang FDA sa pagbibigay ng CSP basta lisensyado ang ospital at mga doktor na gagamit ng gamot para sa COVID-19 patients.

“Actually lahat ng ospital ngayon sa Pilipinas, may special permit na sila for one drug or another, para sa ating COVID dahil talagang puno ng COVID-19 cases. At tayo naman po, hindi tayo very strict,” ani Domingo.

Ayon sa FDA, nade-desisyunan naman agad sa loob ng 24 hanggang 48 oras ang aplikasyon para sa CSP ng isang ospital. Maaari ding mag-apply in advance ng CSP ang mga ospital para sa COVID-19 patients nito sa pamamagitan ng email address na odg@fda.gov.ph.

Kaugnay naman ng investigational drug na Leronlimab, sinabi ni Domingo na wala pang price ceiling na itinakda ang pamahalaan dito dahil kakaunti lamang ang nanghihingi ng special permit para sa suplay ng gamot na ito. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

FDA assures enough supply of medicines for COVID-19 patients

Robie de Guzman   •   March 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday assured the public that there is enough supply of medicines used to treat patients with COVID-19.

FDA director-general Eric Domingo made the assurance following reports that the supply of medicines for the treatment of coronavirus infected patients is depleting.

During a Laging Handa virtual briefing, Domingo confirmed that some medications for COVID-19 patients are running low due to the recent surge of infections.

“On dexamethasone, we did not have problems there. For the other medicines, we had problems because there has been an increase in the number of patients, and the hospitals’ supplies were depleted,” he said.

“But we have issued a compassionate special permit for Remdesivir, and there will be deliveries for immediate use,” he added.

Domingo said suppliers have already assured that additional stocks are on hand and are expected to be delivered within this week.

He, however, said that the distribution of the medicines will be limited.

“Just this morning yung mga companies na nag-i-import ng Remdesivir per hospitals nagbigay sa amin ng report and most of them have stocks on hand. So makakapagdeliver naman po sila this week. Talaga naman pong ano lang ididistribute nila ng hindi maramihan sa lahat ng ospital para lahat eh unti-unti pong magamit ito sa mga nangangailangan,” Domingo said.

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