June 2, 2023

The Philippines’ clinical trials for Japanese anti-flu drug Avigan, a potential treatment against Covid-19, are yet to start due to ethics review delays, a health official said Wednesday.
“Nagkakaroon tayo ng delays on the ethics review among the different identified hospitals included in the trial,” Department of Health Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual media forum.
Vergeire reported that the ethics review of Dr. Jose N Rodriguez Memorial Hospital, Quirino Memorial Medical Center, and Sta. Ana Hospital are not yet final.
“As for the Philippine General Hospital, the memorandum of agreement is under review by the University of the Philippines Manila but they already have an approved ethics review. We are just waiting for the three hospitals,” she said.
On Aug. 6, the DOH received Avigan supply from Tokyo allotted for 100 patients who are part of the clinical trial which was supposed to start on Sept. 1.
“We also have to finalize the clinical trial agreement. We already have all the input coming from our legal offices and these will be signed by Secretary Francisco Duque,” Vergeire said. – PNA