Forbes: Clinical trial still awaiting approval
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Several coronavirus patients at health facilities in the country have started treatment on the antiviral drug Remdesivir, said National HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Programme Director Dr Nikkiah Forbes yesterday.
Remdesivir has become the first drug to show a clear-cut effect in treating the deadly respiratory illness and is the first drug approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
In an interview with Eyewitness News, Forbes said health officials received 150 doses of the drug on Friday and “have started using it on the treatment of our patients that are hospitalized”.
She noted that since its approval from the FDA in October, the new antiviral is not just for use in the context of clinical trials.
The drug can be used to treat COVID-19 for use in adults and pediatric patients 12-years or older requiring hospitalization.
Forbes said they are still waiting for final approvals to begin clinical trials with positive COVID-19 patients.
None of the patients being treated in healthcare facilities are apart of the pending clinical trial, she said, ensuring that expert treatment guidelines of the use of the agent are being adhered to.
“There’s a worldwide shortage of Remdesirvr and so we will have to prioritize and strategize,” Forbes added.
In May, the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) revealed that hospitalized patients with advanced COVID-19 and lung involvement who received Remdesivir recovered faster than similar patients who received a placebo.
The trial showed that patients on the drug, made by Gilead Sciences Inc., had a 31 percent faster time to recovery than those on a placebo.
Forbes explained that trials are still necessary to continue to monitor its effect on the virus.
“What we need is the global and scientific experience so we know that agents are proven to be useful,” she said.
“…The more power in studies, the more participants there are so it will help that these trials are ongoing”.