Image: Cipla

How does Remdesivir help Covid-19 patients

CAPE TOWN- Cipla South Africa has announced that antiviral medication, Remdesivir, will soon be available in the country and it could make a difference in the management of severe Covid-19 cases.

The drug manufacturer obtained authorisation from the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) to import Remdesivir under Section 21 of the Medicines and Related Substances Act.

While the medication cannot cure patients with Covid-19, preliminary data shows the medicine could reduce the recovery time for hospitalised patients. 

Cipla recently entered an agreement with Gilead Sciences and was granted a licence to manufacture and distribute the antiviral medicine in 127 countries, including South Africa. As many of these countries are emerging markets that face obstacles in accessing healthcare, Cipla will expand supply to several sub-Saharan African countries.

Remdesivir was first issued by the United States Food and Drug Administration in May, after a study showed that it shortened recovery time in Covid-19 patients. 

CEO of Cipla South Africa, Paul Miller, said “over the decades, Cipla’s aim has always been to ensure that patients have access to affordable medication, and this is now more important than ever in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The country is currently fifth in terms of the countries with the most recorded cases of Covid-19 infections. Globally, the pandemic has infected more than 18 million people.

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