Saturday, 4 July 2020

Pakistan Set to Make, Export Anti-COVID Drug Remdesivir

[John Locher/AP Photo]
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan announced that it would begin “within weeks” production and export of the antiviral drug remdesivir for treating COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.

As of Friday afternoon EDT, according to Johns Hopkins University statistics, the pandemic had killed more than 306,000 people and infected more than 4.5 million worldwide since late in 2019, when it struck first in China.

Zafar Mirza, Pakistan’s health minister, told reporters in Islamabad that a local pharmaceutical company, Ferozons Laboratories Ltd., would make the medicine in partnership with America’s Gilead, which developed remdesivir.

He noted that Pakistan would be one of only three countries to produce and export the drug.

“The manufacturing of the injectable medicine will start within six to eight weeks and it will be available not only for coronavirus patients in Pakistan, but it will also be exported to 127 countries,” Mirza said.

Regulators in America have allowed emergency use of remdesivir, which appeared to help some coronavirus patients recover faster in clinical trials.

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