Remdesivir: What the NAFDAC DG said

In a report entitled “COVID-19: We are not likely to use Ebola drug for patients — NAFDAC” published in the Sunday Tribune edition, we quoted the Director-General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, as saying that remdesivir, the drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, may not be used for coronavirus patients in Nigeria.

We have since discovered that the view of the NAFDAC DG was misrepresented.

The explanation Professor Adeyeye gave on the drug is that “NAFDAC does not have any control over which drug to use or not to use for any particular ailment, including remdesivir, which was initially developed for the treatment of Ebola virus.”

According to her, the drug in question, remdesivir, though developed and tried for Ebola in the past, is not commercially available yet. It is likely to be very expensive and may not be available immediately for African countries because of availability and affordability.

Professor Adeyeye further explained that the current approach adopted by Federal Ministry of Health and other stakeholders in the treatment of COVID-19 patients in the country appeared to be very effective.

She provided more insight into the use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as well as their risk to benefit ratio.



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