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Philippines to wait for WHO, FDA approval before allowing entry of drug for COVID-19 —DOH

The China-approved cure for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) must first secure the approval of international and local medical authorities before it can be distributed in the Philippine market, the Department of Health (DOH) said Tuesday.

"Mayroon hong mga proseso para diyan sa bagong gamot para makapasok din dito sa ating bansa. Ang unang-una nating titingnan diyan, of course, is it WHO pre-qualified? Ibig sabihin po pumasa 'yan sa standards ng ating World Health Organization," Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an interview on Unang Balita.

"Kailangan din sumailalim 'yan sa regulatory process ng ating Food and Drug Administration," she added.

Vergeire also said even the plasma therapy that is being employed by some doctors in China to treat patients with COVID-19 must have the approval of concerned medical authorities before it can be exercised locally.

China recently approved the marketing of Favilavir—an antiviral drug for COVID-19—in their country where over 70,000 got infected by the virus. The death toll in mainland China alone is now more than 1,800.

In the Philippines, three Chinese nationals had been detected to have COVID-19. Out of the over 500 suspected cases, only 171 remain admitted at hospitals as of Monday. —Dona Magsino/KBK, GMA News