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Senior physician Dr Mohsin Wali speaking to ANI in New Delhi on Wednesday. (ANI)
Senior physician Dr Mohsin Wali speaking to ANI in New Delhi on Wednesday. (ANI)

Remdesivir effective in treating critical COVID-19 patients, says senior physician

By Gaurav Arora | Updated: Jun 04, 2020 12:24 IST

New Delhi [India], June 4 (ANI): Former honorary physician to the President of India and senior physician at Ganga Ram hospital Dr Mohsin Wali has welcomed the move of the Drug Controller General of India to give permission for emergency use of Remdesivir to treat COVID-19 patients and said that the medicine is effective in treating those who are critically ill.
"Remdesivir is a new medicine. The company manufactured the medicine for the Ebola virus. This medicine cannot be freely used. The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has allowed it to be used by patients who are admitted to ICU or are very serious and who are on ventilators," Wali told ANI.
"One cannot buy it from the market like normal medicine, it is a very expensive medicine and not everyone can afford it. The medicine has also many side effects," he said.
Speaking about how the medicine works, Wali said: "When the virus multiplies inside cells, there is an enzyme called RNA polymerase that also increases its numbers. This medicine can block this enzyme. Therefore, it can be used to protect lung cells. It is very fortunate that it has been allowed in India. Those patients who were taking 11 days in ICU to recover they are now taking 5 days to recover. This is a big difference."
On Tuesday, ANI reported that the Central Drug Control Standard Organisation (CDCSO) office of DCGI gave its permission to US-based Gilead Sciences for marketing authorisation of its anti-viral drug Remdesivir for "restricted emergency use" on hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
Remdesivir, an investigational antiviral therapy developed by Gilead, has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) to treat Covid-19. (ANI)