COVID-19: Kuwait tries Japanese medication Avigan to treat patients

Kuwait City: Kuwaiti health officials have revealed that the Japanese drug Avigan, also known as Favipiravir, is showing positive results in treating COVID-19 patients, local media reported.

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The medication has been given to 20 COVID-19 patients over the course of 10 days. A source told Al Qabas that the medicine has proven to be effective, especially with the elderly.

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The source pointed out that Avigan was used according to the Japanese guidelines, World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations and Kuwait’s regulations.

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According to the results of the patients that have taken the medicine, most of them tested negative after five days, instead of 10 days for those that did not use the drug.

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The source went on to add that the rates of recovery will likely increase as health officials begin prescribing the medicine to more COVID-19 patients, especially those that are experiencing shortness of breath.

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Although the medicine has been effective, the Ministry of Health is still following up on the development of medicines in vaccines that are being produced by other countries.

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In June, the Ministry of Health has recently received the first shipment of Avigan, after clinical trials were conducted, according to a statement by the Ministry’s Assistant Understory for Medicines and Medical Equipment Affairs, Dr. Abdullah Al Bader.

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What is Avigan?

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Developed by the Japanese corporation, Toyama Chemical Co, a subsidiary of Fujifilm Holdings, Avigan is an anti-influenza medication that was approved for manufacture and sale in Japan in 2014.

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Although back in April the medication was gaining traction, recently it has been discouraged as clinical studies are proving to be disappointing and the regulatory review is slowing down, Reuters reported.

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Last month, Fujita Health University announced that the Avigan clinical trial, conducted between March and May on 89 patients across Japan, was inconclusive.

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Currently there are at least 25 Avigan clinical trials occurring around the world. The Philippines began a nine-month clinical trial on August 17, across four hospitals in the country’s capital island Manila.

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