Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, has said NAFDAC is not considering the use of the Ebola drug, remdesivir, for the treatment of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
Professor Adeyeye stated that remdesivir has only been found effective in the later stage of COVD-19 or in the severe case of COVID-19.
She said that the drug, remdesivir, was still under development and costly, adding that it would also not be commercially available.
The United State’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at the weekend, authorised emergency use of the Ebola drug, remdesivir for treating the coronavirus.
The authorisation means the anti-viral drug can now be used on people who are hospitalised with severe COVID-19.
A recent clinical trial showed the drug helped shorten the recovery time for people who were seriously ill.
However, it did not significantly improve survival rates.
Experts have warned the drug – which was originally developed to treat Ebola, and is produced by Gilead Pharmaceutical Company in California – should not be seen as a “magic bullet” for coronavirus.
The drug interferes with the virus’s genome, disrupting its ability to replicate.
During a meeting with US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office, Gilead Chief Executive Daniel O’Day, said the FDA authorisation was an important first step.
The company would donate 1.5 million vials of the drug, he said.
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn also said at the meeting: “It’s the first authorised therapy for COVID-19, so we’re really proud to be part of it.”
But according to the NAFDAC boss, “it is not a drug that is manufactured anywhere. It is a drug under development, meaning that is not a commercially available product.
“There are different stages of COVID-19 disease. All drugs cannot work the same way for the same disease because each drug has its own way of working at a particular stage of the disease.
“So, it is very likely that we will not use remdesivir. First, it is very costly because it is still under development, meaning nobody is making it for commercial purpose yet. Secondly, we have to consider its risk to benefit ratio.”
Professor Adeyeye said chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine were the drugs that NAFDAC was looking at possibly for the treatment of COVID-19.
According to her, the Lagos State Ministry of Health is conducting clinical treatment trial for COVID-19 using chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine.
She declared: “Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are cheaper drugs; some of those other drugs that are talked about for the treatment of the infection have many side effects.
“Chloroquine has side effects. In developing medicine, we always look at the risk versus the benefit ratio. If the benefits outweigh the risks, they certify the medicine as okay for use after clinical trials.
“Right now, there is no drug that has been pencilled in as a drug that is doing magic for the treatment of COVID-19, even remdesivir. For those who used remdesivir, it took 14 days for the patient to get over the COVID-19.
“For those who use chloroquine, it takes 11 days, which is significant. Certainly, if another drug can do it for a lesser day, we will take that drug,” she said.
Professor Adeyeye stated that the current cost of remdesivir is out of reach, adding, “how many people are you going to use remdesivir for in Africa?”
“Yes, it is very expensive. But they have been able to afford it in the US. First, they are going to use it for US citizens and secondly, it is a US company that will be producing it. So, they will not mind buying from them even at a very costly price,” she said.
YOU SHOULD NOT MISS THESE HEADLINES FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE
Buy and read digital replicas of your TRIBUNE titles by subscribing through E-VENDING
COVID-19: Dokpesi, Daughter-In-Law, Six Other Family Members Test Positive
The founder of DAAR Communications Plc, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi and his daughter-in-law along with six members of his family have tested positive for coronavirus. This is coming three days after his son and Chairman of the board of the company, Raymond Dokpesi Jnr, also tested positive for the virus… Read full story
Kano And The Mad Woman Of Omu-Ijelu
Not long ago, the funny character, who presides over the affairs of Kano State as the governor, Umar Ganduje, raised the alarm that the Federal Government had literarily abandoned the state in its quest to combat the rampaging Coronavirus epidemic… Read full story
Lagos Discharges Polish, Filipino, 24 Nigerians After Testing Negative For Coronavirus
Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday announced that 26 more patients have been discharged from isolation centres in the state having tested negative twice consecutively to coronavirus. He said those discharged included 14 males and 12 females, including two foreign nationals – a Polish and a Filipino… Read full story
WHO To Identify Animal Source Of COVID-19 ― Director-General
Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, the Director-General, World Health Organisation (WHO), said the agency will work with relevant organisations to identify the animal source of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) based on Emergency Committee recommendations… Read full story
COVID-19: Workers Won’t Be Retrenched Without Following Due Process, Says Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has told workers that despite the expected downturn in the nation’s economy owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Government will ensure that workers won’t be retrenched without due process. Seeking to allay the fears of workers for their jobs, which has heightened recently… Read full story
COVID-19: Osun Monarchs Want Govt To Explore Herbal Medicine
SOME traditional rulers in Osun State have charged their subjects to abide by all the precautionary measures announced by the World Health Organization (WHO), Federal Government and health experts in the state so as to stay safe against the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic in the country… Read full story
Nigeria COVID-19 Survivor: ‘An Experience I Don’t Wish On Anyone’
It feels great to have survived COVID-19. If you see the data of people who have passed away due to the virus, they are alarming. I’m really grateful to be alive but also grateful for the experience as I am able to share with people that COVID-19 is not a hoax like many people may believe in Nigeria… Read full story
Our Fears Living Close To Isolation Centres —Residents •Why we can’t relocate you —Govt
Lagos, which has the highest number of patients with COVID-19 infection, understandably has the highest number of isolation centres, topping four as of the last count. While two have been in use and frequently in news, two new ones located at Landmark Exhibition Centre in Victoria Island and Gbagada Hospital are… Read full story
Loss Of Smell May Suggest Milder COVID-19, Study Finds
New research suggests that loss of smell as a symptom of COVID-19 may indicate a mild case of the disease. A new study has found that loss of smell, which is a reported symptom of COVID-19, may indicate that a person will experience a milder case of the disease… Read full story
Covid19- And The Rising Global Challenge
It would not be an exaggeration to aver that Covid 19 has endangered human race globally in such a manner that is novel. Death tolls in countries like China, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, USA, Germany, Iran and others are rattling and quaking the whole world and make many to be having the fear that the globe is on the… Read full story