Release favipiravir to treat coronavirus in the United States

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Coronavirus is spreading rapidly in the United States.  

In China, where the COVID-19 originated, the National Medical Products Administration of China has approved the use of favipiravir  an antiviral drug, as a treatment for coronavirus. The drug has reportedly shown efficacy in treating the disease with minimal side effects in a clinical trial involving 340 patients. The clinical trial is being conducted in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.

The Chinese Ministry of Health has stated that the medication is clearly effective.

The drug is a Japanese antiviral which is approved in Japan but has been restricted to avoid women of child bearing potential.

The U.S. FDA needs to set aside its usual burdensome processes and allow use of this agent immediately to combat the growing epidemic.

Let us do something positive rather than just creating more grim statistics.  Remember AIDS—the first drug was only approved and released after significant public pressures coming from California. 


Binh Ngo, MD