South Korea has approved imports of the antivirus drug remdesivir, the country’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said in a news release on Wednesday.
Authorities said the decision was made because the drug had meaningfully shortened the treatment period for severe cases of Covid-19 in the United States, Japan and United Kingdom during the pandemic.
Remdesivir has helped speed up recovery in moderately ill patients with pneumonia from Covid-19, drugmaker Gilead Sciences said Monday. Remdesivir is approved to treat Covid-19 in Japan, but is considered an investigational treatment for Covid-19 elsewhere in the world, Gilead said in a statement.
South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety and its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) will negotiate with drug importer Gilead Science Korea to import the drug as soon as possible, the release said.