FDA gives emergency authorization to remdesivir, drug touted by Trump

A promising anti-viral drug promoted by President Trump has received emergency authorization from the FDA after clinical trials showed promise.

The drug, Remdesivir, promises to set a new standard of care for the treatment of the coronavirus, although more study is needed before it’s approved for full FDA authorization.

CNBC reports:

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases released results from its study showing Covid-19 patients who took remdesivir usually recovered after 11 days, four days faster than those who didn’t take the drug.

Gilead also released preliminary results from its own study, showing at least 50% of the patients treated with a five-day dosage of remdesivir improved. The clinical trial involved 397 patients with severe cases of Covid-19. The severe study is “single-arm,” meaning it did not evaluate the drug against a control group of patients who didn’t receive the drug.

President Trump has touted the promise of the drug repeatedly during press conferences from the White House. And his enthusiasm has led to swift action. CNBC:

Trump has touted remdesivir as a potential treatment for the virus, which has infected more than 3.3 million people worldwide and killed at least 237,000 people, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Earlier this week, he said he wanted the FDA to move “as quickly as they can” to approve the drug.

“We would like to see very quick approvals, especially with things that work,” he said at a roundtable at the White House with business executives Wednesday evening.

Having an antiviral treatment isn’t the same as a working vaccine, but it’s an important step.

As America brings it’s massive industrial and scientific abilities to bear, we’re starting to see victories. Step by step, we’re gaining ground. With the right attitude and leadership, we’ll beat this thing.

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