The coronavirus pandemic has brought the world to a halting stop with uncertainty about the disease progression and the disease treatment. The pandemic has caused more than 950,000 deaths worldwide as of September 2020. The entire scientific community is scrambling to find a cure or a vaccine for COVID-19 with many vaccines currently in the second phase of trials. Russia’s vaccine, Sputnik V, is ahead in this race as it is currently in its final stage of the trial.
A known treatment regimen or a vaccine could significantly reduce the stress on the healthcare community, which is crumbling under the pressure of increased cases and ICU admission and relatively less number of healthcare staff. And this is despite the fact that some milder cases of coronavirus are being treated in outpatient clinics.
Russia has a total of more than one million cases since the beginning of the pandemic with approximately 19,000 deaths. With the pressure on the Russian healthcare system, with just the severe cases of COVID-19, Russian scientists and researchers are working as fast as possible to find a cure.
Favipiravir variants approved for outpatient use
They have announced the use of two drugs, both of which are Russian-made variants of the drug, Favipiravir, for COVID 19. These drugs, namely areplivir and koronavir, will be made available in the Russian pharmacies for people to buy and treat themselves. They hope to relieve the pressure on medical care through these approved drugs for self treatment.
Although studies on favipiravir in Japan by Fujifilm, a Favipiravir manufacturer, showed inconclusive results, Russia, China, and India have approved favipiravir for treatment of COVID 19. It is important to note that after the studies showed no conclusive data in support of favipiravir, Japan did not approve the use of favipiravir.
According to the head of Areplivir manufacturer, Promomed, the drug will be made available in all pharmacies across Russia from Monday onwards. Koronavir will be made available soon, although no specific date has been announced. Koronavir manufacturer, R-farm spoke to the news saying that the drug showed great efficiency in clinical trials. 50% of the patients involved in the study showed improvement within seven days of treatment, which is 1.5 times more than the control group. The drug works to reduce the complications of COVID-19 significantly. Earlier, Russia approved another brand of favipiravir, Arefavir, for use against COVID-19. However, this pharma company is mainly export-oriented.
Russian authorities are depending on these drugs effectively reducing complications of COVID-19 to help reduce the stress on medical infrastructure and staff. This is especially since many Russians have shown indifference toward the vaccine, Sputnik V with some claiming they would ‘never’ vaccinate.
With cases increasing everyday, everyone is hoping these drugs will be beneficial in reducing severe cases of COVID-19 and treating milder cases of it as well.