The US FDA has approved Gilead Sciences’ remdesivir as a COVID-19 treatment drug, sold under the brand name Veklury.
Remdesivir is now the first FDA-approved COVID-19 drug. Drugmaker Gilead Sciences confirmed this news Thursday. With this news, the drug has become the first COVID-19 treatment to receive approval. You can buy it under the brand name Veklury.
CNN reports that the drug has shown only modest benefits to COVID-19 patients. However, there are no other drugs available. In a statement, Gilead said that doctors could prescribe Veklury for adults and children under 12 years old. The children must also weigh at least 40 kg. Moreover, only patients in the hospital can take the drug.
Does It Work?
Earlier, a WHO study found that remdesivir did not help COVID-19 patients survive or recovery. However, a US study showed that the drug sped up patient recovery by a third.
Gilead also gave the FDA another study. This study showed that Gilead’s drug shortened a patient’s illness from 15 days to 11 days. However, the FDA also looked at two other studies. One study said the drug gave slight benefits. The other study said the drug didn’t work.
Getting FDA Approval
According to Dr. Stephen Hahn, the FDA approved the drug because of data collected from several clinical trials. After reviewing the data, the FDA said that the drug could be an essential weapon against COVID-19. Dr. Hahn is the Commissioner of the FDA.