NMMC acquires antiviral drug Remdesivir for COVID-19 treatment

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 6 July) —The Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) confirmed Monday it has purchased Remdesivir, an expensive antiviral drug that has so far shown “positive effects” on patients inflicted with the dreaded coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Dr. Bernard Rocha, NMMC spokesperson, stressed that they are now among the few hospitals in the country that were able to acquire the hard-to-find drug.

“We are administering the drug to COVID-19 patients who are in critical condition and (we) have gotten positive results,” Rocha said during the daily press briefing at the Cagayan de Oro city hall Monday.

Rocha said that Remdesivir “is the only known treatment” so far that speeds up the recovery time in severely-ill COVID-19 patients.

He did not say how many COVID-19 patients admitted to the NMMC have been administered with Remdesivir.

In previous press briefings, Rocha said the state-owned hospital has “improved very much” in treating COVID-19 patients.

The hospital, which is the main treatment center for COVID-19 in Northern Mindanao, had only six deaths since March.

The New York Times said Remdesivir is being sold at US$ 390 per intravenous vial or US$ 2,340 per treatment costs for governments needing the drug.

Remdesivir, which is manufactured by American biopharmaceutical firm Gilead Sciences, Inc. is one of the four drugs included in the World Health Organization’s Solidarity Trial, which the Philippines is participating.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire recently said that the findings that Remdesivir can treat COVID-19 patients are not yet conclusive.