Moscow: Vladamir Putin’s Russia has approved an antiviral drug which will be available at pharmacies by showing a COVID-19 prescription. The drug, known as Coronavir, is being made by R-Pharm and will be followed by another drug Avifavir, which was given the go-ahead in May.
Both these drugs are based on favipiravir, which was developed in Japan. The drugs will be rolled out in a week’s time.
Russia is also competing in the coronavirus vaccine race with its Sputnik-V candidate, which has already bagged some international supply deals including India.
R-Pharm claims it received approval for Coronavir after Phase-III clinical trials that involved 168 COVID-19 patients. This drug was first approved for hospital use back in July.
Coronavir is made at R-Pharm’s facility in Yaroslavl, 300 km northeast of Moscow.
Favipiravir trials in Japan for COVID-19 have been inconclusive. It was approved for emergency influenza treatment in 2014. The drug is being made in India by Lupin, Cipla and Dr Reddy’s for use against COVID-19.