FDA approves first COVID-19 drug: the antiviral remdesivir

By MARILYNN MARCHIONE

AP Chief Medical Writer

U.S. regulators have approved the first drug to treat COVID-19. Remdesivir is an antiviral medicine given through an IV for patients needing hospitalization.

Its maker, Gilead Sciences Inc., said Thursday that the drug is approved for people at least 12 years old who need hospitalization for their coronavirus infection. The company is calling it Veklury.

A large U.S. study found it cut the time to recovery by five days — from 15 days to 10 on average. It has been authorized for use on an emergency basis since spring. It works by inhibiting a substance the virus uses to make copies of itself.

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