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FDA chief: Carrimycin not part of solidarity trial of drugs vs. COVID-19, not registered in Philippines

Carrimycin is not part of the solidarity trial of drugs against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in which the Philippines is a participant of, according to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chief Eric Domingo on Wednesday.

"'Yung Carrimycin po is an investigational drug na ginagamit po ngayon sa China—clinical trials pa rin to see if it's useful for COVID," Domingo said in an interview on GMA News' Unang Balita.

"Pero hindi po siya kasama sa solidarity trial at wala pa naman pong nagre-register sa kaniya dito sa Pilipinas or naghihingi po ng permit sa atin to import," he added.

Domingo was referring to the solidarity trial led by the World Health Organization (WHO) which aims to study the safety and effectiveness of four drugs for the treatment of COVID-19.

Five hundred patients from 21 hospitals in the country are participating in the said trial.

The antiviral Remdesivir, antimalarial drug Hydroxychloroquine, antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV Lopinavir with Ritonavir, and Lopinavir with Ritonavir plus Interferon beta-1a are the medicines that are part of the said study, according to the WHO.

Carrimycin, on the other hand, was the medicine that Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Felimon Santos reportedly took, as per his physician's advice, to recover from COVID-19.

Filemon's letter asking assistance from a Chinese official to procure the said medicine for other people infected with COVID-19 has surfaced online.

AFP spokesman Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said the letter has been withdrawn immediately after Filemon learned that Carrimycin was not registered wiith the country's FDA. — RSJ, GMA News