Philippines Looks to Stockpile Avigan for Severe COVID-19 Cases

MANILA/TOKYO – The Philippine government is considering stockpiling Japan-made antiviral drug Avigan to treat severe cases of the new coronavirus.

National Task Force on COVID-19 Head and Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. said that they are looking for ways to secure a supply chain of Avigan.

“Ginagawa po natin na magkaroon ng magandang supply chain ang mga drugs to treat the severe cases kasama po rito ang remdesivir, dexamethasone at Avigan,” he told a press briefing on Thursday.

Also known as favipiravir, Avigan is manufactured by Japanese firm Fujifilm Toyama Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Fujifilm Holdings Corp.

The Department of Health (DOH) said in May that it had allocated P18 million for the Avigan clinical trials, which will be administered on 80 to 100 patients at Sta. Ana Hospital, Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Quirino Memorial Medical Center.

The Japanese government provided Avigan free of charge to the Philippines for clinical studies on its efficacy as a COVID-19 treatment.

Yesterday, the Philippines reported 3,954 new infections, its highest single-day rise in COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of people infected with the pneumonia-causing virus to 89,374. - Florenda Corpuz

(Photograph courtesy of ©FUJIFILM Corporation)