DRAP takes measures to ensure availability of remdesivir for COVID-19 patients

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza. Photo: File 

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Sunday said the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) is taking all the steps to ensure the availability of remdesivir for coronavirus patients.

“DRAP has issued import and registration letters to the manufacturers to ensure the availability of remdesivir for coronavirus patients, particularly during emergencies,”Mirza said.

He added that the US Food and Drug Association (FDA) had recently approved the usage of remdesivir for the treatment of coronavirus.

Keeping in view the mushrooming numbers of virus affected patients in the country, Mirza stated that the regulatory body has issued licenses to two importers and 14 local manufacturers.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the drug regulatory authority said that the drug can only be used by patients suffering from a critical condition and that too with proper prescriptions of health professionals.

“Under the given conditions, the injections will be available at specific hospitals and institutions instead of the open markets,” the spokesperson said. Local manufacturers have been directed to strictly monitor the clinical use of remdesivir.”

The spokesperson added the National Command and Control Centre (NOCC) along with DRAP considered the usage of remdesivir after the US, Japan, UK and Europe approved the usage of the drug after successful trials.

Moreover, the spokesperson added meetings of the Emergency Registration Board and the Drug Pricing Committee have also been called in the coming days to ensure the availability of injections and to propose the pricing of the drug to the Cabinet.

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