MANILA – The Philippines’ clinical trials for Japanese anti-flu drug Avigan, a potential treatment against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), are yet to start due to ethics review delays, a health official said Wednesday.
“Nagkakaroon po tayo ng (We’re having) delays on the ethics review among the different identified hospitals included in the trial,” Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary 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 MOA (memorandum of Agreement) is under legal review of UP Manila but they already have an approved ethics review, so we’re just waiting for the three hospitals,” she said in a mix of Filipino and English.
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)