Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 8) — Hospitals can procure COVID-19 drug Ronapreve on their own through compassionate special permit pending a recommendation from the Department of Health (DOH) for its use, the agency’s spokesperson said on Friday.
“’Pag wala pa ho tayong (If there is still no) recommendation from DOH, they can use it through the compassionate special permit,” DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a media forum.
Ronapreve is the first COVID-19 drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use in the country. Currently, licensed medicines for other diseases are being used off-label to treat COVID-19 in the Philippines.
It is recommended for patients aged 12 and above who have mild to moderate coronavirus symptoms, FDA Director-General Eric Domingo earlier told CNN Philippines. It could reduce the risk of hospitalization and death due to COVID-19 by “at least 70%.” It is best given within 10 days from the onset of symptoms, the FDA chief said. The drug is administered through intravenous infusion, he added.
But despite the conditional regulatory approval, Vergeire noted the DOH experts will still assess whether the government will recommend the use of the new drug and negotiate for its supply.
“Ito po ay pinagaaralan ng ating mga experto kung ito ay makakabuti dito sa paggagamot natin ng COVID-19,” she said.
[Translation: This drug is being studied by our experts to know if it would help us treat COVID-19.]