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Aug 06, 2021 / 08:17

Covid drug Remdesivir arrives in Vietnam

The health ministry is expected to add Remdesivir to the treatment of Covid-19 patients today.

A batch of 50,000 vials of Remdesivir from India arrived in Ho Chi Minh City last night to support the treatment of critical Covid-19 patients.

 A batch of Remdesivir arrives in Ho Chi Minh City on late August 5. Photo: Vingroup

This kind of drug, which is developed by US-based Gilead Sciences and got the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s approval in October 2020, is the first drug approved to treat Covid-19.

Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Truong Son said the ministry’s Department of Medical Examination and Treatment will hold a meeting today to add Remdesivir to the treatment of Covid-19 patients.

So far, Vietnam has not approved Remdesivir yet.

Remdesivir sold under the brand name Veklury, is a broad-spectrum antiviral medication indicated for the treatment of adults and pediatric patients ≥12 years old and weighing ≥40 kg requiring hospitalization for Covid-19.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said the active substance in Veklury is a viral RNA polymerase inhibitor. It interferes with the production of viral RNA (genetic material), preventing the virus from multiplying inside cells. This can help the body to overcome the virus infection and may help patients get better faster.

The batch is of 500,000 vials bought by Vingroup, the leading private conglomerate in Vietnam, from India’s Cipla. The next batches are scheduled to arrive in Vietnam in August.

According to Gilead, Veklury has been approved or authorized for temporary use as a Covid-19 treatment in approximately 50 countries worldwide.

Vietnam has so far reported roughly 128,000 active coronavirus infections, including more than 33,000 hospitalized in Ho Chi Minh.