A cure for Covid-19 is the current holy grail of medical research. However, in its absence, next best would be a medicine that can alleviate the virus’s effects. Russian experts hope their new drug, Avifavir, will do the trick.
This month, 60,000 courses of the drug will be sent to hospitals across Russia. If necessary, production can be increased to two million per year. The first deliveries have already arrived in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and other regions, including Tatarstan and Kirov.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the Russian pharmaceutical company ‘KhimRar’ developed Avifavir, which is free to Russians under the country’s national health insurance scheme. The international chemical name of the medication is Favipiravir. It was invented in Japan and ‘KhimRar’ synthesized the new formula.
“We foresee a high demand for Avifavir in Russia (and) we also received requests for deliveries of Avifavir from more than ten countries,” the Director of the RDIF, Kirill Dmitriev, explained. “The first results of clinical trials make us believe this drug is one of the most promising in the world.”
The fund’s website indicates that the medicine “demonstrated high efficiency” during clinical trials. For example, in the first four days of treatment, 65 percent of the 40 patients who took Avifavir tested negative for Covid-19 and, by the tenth day, the number of patients posting negative results increased to 90 percent.
On Thursday morning, there were 502,436 known Covid-19 cases in Russia. The official death toll is 6,532. However, this could soon rise sharply as The Health Ministry plans to adjust how it reports such numbers, to include all fatalities thought to be related to the virus, even if the main cause of death was another illness.