SILVER SPRING, Md. — Seven months after the World Health Organization first declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, the world now has an official treatment for the virus. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given the drug remdesivir full approval to be used as a treatment for coronavirus patients.
“The FDA is committed to expediting the development and availability of COVID-19 treatments during this unprecedented public health emergency,” says FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn in an Oct. 22 press release.
“Today’s approval is supported by data from multiple clinical trials that the agency has rigorously assessed and represents an important scientific milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the FDA’s Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program, the agency will to continue to help move new medical products to patients as soon as possible, while at the same time determining whether they are effective and if their benefits outweigh their risks.”
Officials gave the antiviral drug, also known as Veklury, the green light for use on hospitalized adults and children over the age of 12. Hospitalized youths will also need to weigh at least 88 pounds to receive the newly approved treatment. The FDA notes remdesivir is the first medication to receive the agency’s approval for general use amid the pandemic.
Remdesivir had previously received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in May, along with other medications that have shown mixed results against COVID-19. Previous studies have discovered remdesivir can effectively fight the virus and also reduce patient recovery times. The drug gained even more attention after doctors used it to treat President Donald Trump. The president was briefly hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment; where he received a remdesivir injection.