DOH says it is not procuring remdesivir
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday said it is not procuring the anti-viral drug remdesivir since it is not yet registered locally.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the drug does not yet have a certificate of product registration (CPR), only compassionate use permits in hospitals.
“We do not have any procurement of remdesivir precisely because it has no CPR,” she said in an online media forum.
Vergeire said the DOH only gave funds to hospitals during the surge of COVID-19 cases to procure drugs that could serve as treatment for COVID-19 patients.
The DOH earlier vowed to provide P5 million funding to each DOH hospital in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon to ensure an unhampered supply of COVID-19 therapeutics.
DOH made the clarification after two House lawmakers criticized the health department for purchasing P1-billion worth of the investigational drug, even after the World Health Organization had rejected the use of the drug for COVID-19 treatment.
Vergeire said the DOH is also basing its decision on other studies aside from the WHO trial.
A study by the University of the Philippines’ National Institutes of Health found that remdesivir “can help in slowing down the progression of the disease,” she said.
“Kapag tiningnan yung clinical practice guidelines nakalagay diyan ‘can consider remdesivir’ for those requiring oxygen doon sa mga pasyenteng may COVID-19. Nakalagay ‘you may consider remdesivir,’” Vergeire added.
(When you look at the clinical practice guidelines, it is indicated there “can consider remdesivir” for those requiring oxygen among patients with COVID-19. It is indicated “you may consider remdesivir.”)
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