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Domestic COVID-19 drug raises hopes

China Daily | Updated: 2022-08-16 07:45
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The National Healthcare Security Administration has announced that all the medicines listed in the COVID-19 treatment plan can be paid for through the healthcare security fund.

On Aug 9, the National Health Commission said that Azvudine, a Chinese drug approved for treating COVID-19, was included in the COVID-19 treatment plan. This way, patients can get part of the cost paid for by the healthcare security fund.

A worker carries out sample testing in a medical company in Jiangsu province, on April 9, 2020. [Photo by Tang Dehong/for China Daily]

Society has long been expecting COVID-19 drugs to enter the market. China has long developed vaccines aimed at preventing the virus from infecting more people. The emerging drugs will further consolidate China's victory over the virus.

Azvudine, as the first domestically developed COVID-19 drug, has several advantages over foreign ones. It costs less than 300 yuan ($44.35) per bottle, which is largely affordable; it is an oral drug rather than injection, which makes it convenient to popularize it.

Besides, since Azvudine has long been used to fight AIDS and has recently been developed to fight COVID-19, its side-effects are known.

However, some believe that more clinical data is needed to prove its effectiveness. After all, Azvudine has not been tested yet for its effectiveness against COVID-19. That's possibly why the medicine has been "temporarily" included in the healthcare fund, creating room for a long-term decision to be taken after observation. In that way, the taxpayers' burden will not be that heavy.

More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, people are looking for an effective, cheap drug to counter it.

With the first domestically developed COVID-19 drug entering the market and getting included in the healthcare fund, there is more light at the end of the tunnel. Of course, one single drug is far from enough in fighting the pandemic, yet it highlights the spirit of doing scientific research for fighting the pandemic.

We look forward to more such drugs being developed to better serve the people in the fight against the pandemic.

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