Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato announced that his country has abandoned its goal of approving this month the anti-influenza drug Avijan, which it produced for Fujifilm Holding Company as a drug for treating patients with coronavirus, after a report in a temporary bed test showed the lack of a clear efficacy of this drug.
“We will continue the study and clinical tests (of this drug) from June onwards. There is no change in our policy to quickly approve the drug if its efficacy (against the Corona virus) is confirmed,” Kato said at a press conference quoted by the Japanese News Agency (Kyodo).
It is noteworthy that it is believed that the drug Avijan can be used as a treatment for Covid-19 and respiratory diseases resulting from infection with Coronavirus.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier this month expressed his hope that this local drug will get approval by the end of this month, although there is no clear evidence of efficacy and safety in its use.
In response to Abe’s remarks, some experts have raised concerns that the government is speeding up its approval and undermining the strict medical procedures in place for approving the use of a drug.
Kato said the government initially aimed to approve the drug if the interim results of clinical tests, conducted by a team led by the University of Fujita, showed very high efficacy in treating Covid-19.
But a committee affiliated with another party assessed the results of the interim report, which was issued in the middle of this month, and said it was premature to judge him scientifically, which led to the continuation of clinical trials, Kato said.
It is noteworthy that the drug cannot be given to pregnant mothers or women who are likely to become pregnant because it may cause birth defects.