FDA Director-General Eric Domingo presents data on adverse events following immunization during a virtual media forum on Thursday. Photo courtesy: screenshot from DOH Kapihan

FDA Director-General Eric Domingo. Photo courtesy: screenshot from DOH Kapihan

MANILA, Philippines — The Food and Drug Authority (FDA) has put up a special lane to expedite the emergency use approvals of drugs for the treatment of COVID-19.

FDA Director-General Eric Domingo on Wednesday said this will allow them to prioritize COVID-19 drugs and fast-track their approvals.

So far, Domingo said the FDA approved two more brands of the anti-inflammatory drug tocilizumab.

It has also approved three brands of baricitinib, a drug for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in adults that can be an alternative to tocilizumab.

“Gamot [siya] kontra sa inflammation na may severe arthritis na nakikita na maaaring gamitin sa COVID-19,” Domingo said in a public briefing.

(It is a drug to counter inflammation with severe arthritis that may also be used for COVID-19.)

The drug is in tablet form which makes it easier to produce and be given to a patient.

It is locally available and is less expensive than tocilizumab.

Tocilizumab earlier experienced a shortage in supply in the Philippines, forcing the Department of Health (DOH) to look to other drugs as alternatives.

/MUF

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