GUADALAJARA: Mexico on Friday (Saturday in Manila) approved the antiviral drug remdesivir for emergency use treating Covid-19 patients in the Latin American country, one of the worst hit by the pandemic.
Regulatory agency Cofepris said it had authorized the medicine for use exclusively by hospitals and specialist doctors during the early stages of the illness.
Mexico joins other countries including the United States, Canada and Japan as well as the European Commission that have approved the treatment for use against the coronavirus.
Remdesivir, made by US pharma giant Gilead, was one of the first drugs to show relative promise in shortening the time to recovery in some Covid-19 patients.
But its efficacy in reducing the mortality rate is unproven. A World Health Organization-backed study said in October that the drug had “little or no effect” on Covid mortality.
Mexico, a country of 126 million people, has recorded more than 193,000 known Covid-19 deaths — the world’s third-highest toll.