Japan sends Avigan for Covid-19 patients in Philippines

The Philippine government has received from Tokyo the anti-viral medicine Avigan, a potential treatment against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the Japanese embassy in Manila said Thursday.

The medicine, whose generic name is favipiravir, was turned over to the Department of Health on August 6 and will be allotted for 100 patients who are part of the Avigan clinical trial.

“Japan hopes that this ongoing cooperation with the Philippines would further contribute to the advancement of clinical research to contain the Covid-19 pandemic,” the embassy said in a statement.

Some researches have revealed that Avigan, developed by a subsidiary of Japan-based Fujifilm Holdings Corp., is seen as an effective drug in treating Covid-19.

It has drawn interest from many countries for its potential to counter viral replication.

In Japan, the drug showed some promise in treating Covid-19 infected patients as some of them recovered after taking it.

However, health experts cautioned against its use because the drug has one dangerous potential side effect — birth defects.

The arrival of the drug is part of Tokyo’s emergency grant aid to countries severely affected by the pandemic.

Each recipient government acknowledged Avigan’s proper usage and prescription in view of its known adverse side effects, the embassy said. (PNA) 

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