Coronavirus patients in Britain will now be treated with remdesivir, the Ebola drug which has shown promise in battling the infection, Daily Mail has reported.
The move was announced today by UK’s Department of Health. The drug will be administered on adults and teenagers with severe COVID-19 .
This makes the drug, which destroys a part of the virus in order to stop it reproducing, the closest thing doctors have to a cure or treatment for the disease.
The criteria for who will get it have not been laid out by the Government but doctors will be expected to decide on a case-by-case basis who is most likely to benefit.
It is expected to be available immediately to patients across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Lord James Bethell, Government minister for innovation, said: ‘This shows fantastic progress.
‘As we navigate this unprecedented period, we must be on the front foot of the latest medical advancements, while always ensuring patient safety remains a top priority.
‘The latest, expert scientific advice is at the heart of every decision we make, and we will continue to monitor remdesivir’s success in clinical trials across the country to ensure the best results for UK patients.’
Remdesivir, which is produced by the California-based company Gilead Sciences, has been approved under the Early Access to Medicines Scheme (EAMS).
Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) gave the go-ahead for NHS doctors to use it on people who are seriously ill with COVID-19.
Officials said: ‘Allocation of the drug will be based on expert clinical advice and will take into consideration the situation where it is most likely to provide the greatest benefit.’
The MHRA’s green light means the drug can be used before it has been officially licensed for prescription.