Authorities in the United States will allow the emergency use of Ebola drug remdesivir for treating patients with severe COVID-19.
The anti-viral drug was shown to help shorten the recovery time for people who were hospitalised with the coronavirus in recent clinical trials.
However the emergency authorisation by the Food and Drug Administration means usage has been rushed through without the usual higher levels of review medication goes through before it can be rolled out for treating the public.
Medical experts have since warned that the use of the Ebola drug, which is manufactured by Gilead pharmaceutical company, should not be seen as a “magic bullet” for COVID-19.
‘Important first step’
The company will donate 1.5 million doses of the drug to help during the crisis, in what Gilead Chief Executive Daniel O’Day said during a meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office was an “important first step”.
“It’s the first authorised therapy for Covid-19, so we’re really proud to be part of it,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, also present at the meeting, added.