MANILA – The Philippines is in the initial stages of coordination with the Japanese government for the planned clinical trials of Avigan for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients in the country.
“Nagkaroon po tayo ng kasunduan sa government of Japan kung saan mayroon po tayong pagkakasunduan, kung magiging clear po ang ating arrangement, ito pong isang gamot ay Avigan pero nasa initial stages of coordination pa lang tayo (We had an agreement with the government of Japan, once the arrangement has been clear, the medicine would be Avigan. At present we are in the initial stages of coordination),” DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Saturday during the Laging Handa briefing.
Avigan, a Japanese anti-influenza drug otherwise known as Faviravir, has been touted as a promising treatment for Covid-19.
Aside from this medicine, Vergeire said the Philippines is exploring other ways to manage Covid-19 cases.
“Sa UP (PGH), nag-umpisa na po sila ng kanilang convalescent plasma therapy na clinical trial, naumpisan na sa ibang pasyente at mayroon na silang nire-report na maganda pero hindi pa po ‘yan enough evidence na kumpleto para masabi na ito talaga ay epektibo (At UP, they already started their convalescent plasma therapy on clinical trial, they’ve been reporting good results but that is not enough evidence to say this is really effective),” she said.
The University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) is the only hospital in the country with approved protocol to conduct such procedure, said Vergeire.
Meanwhile, some 21 Philippine hospitals enrolled for the World Health Organization’s Solidarity trial involving four off-label drugs reportedly effective in managing Covid-19 cases.
The hospitals include the PGH in Manila, The Medical City in Pasig, San Lazaro Hospital in Manila, Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa, Baguio General Hospital in Benguet, East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City, Makati Medical Center in Makati, St. Lukes Medical Center Global, St. Lukes Medical Center Quezon City, University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Medical Center in Quezon City, Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan, Manila Doctors Hospital in Manila, Manila Medical Center in Manila, Chinese General Hospital in Manila, San Juan de Dios Medical Center in Pasay, Diliman Doctors Hospital in Quezon City, University of Santo Tomas Hospital in Manila, Vicente Sotto Medical Center in Cebu, Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao, and World Citi Medical Center in Quezon City.
As of April 24, the Philippines has a total of 7,192 confirmed Covid-19 cases, of whom 762 recovered while 477 died. (PNA)