The National Agency of Drug and Food Control (NA-DFC), usually known as BPOM of Indonesia, has recently approved an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for Avivavir Covid-19 drugs. Clinical Pharmacologist and Pharmacist ugm, Prof. Apt. Zullies Ikawati, Ph.D., revealed this drug was considered a favipiravir-based drug made by Russia. It was made of Favipiravir, an antiviral drug to prevent influenza or anti-influenza. Since 2004, Japan has actually developed this drug. Favipiravir is a repurposing drug or reusing old-manufactured drugs for new indications, precisely for Covid-19. Since the Covid-19 began, Indonesian citizens have started to consume it as a Covid-19 therapy guideline. The drug works by inhibiting the production of viral RNA, which in turn inhibits viral replication.
"So, it isn't a new production. Japan has once developed it as an anti-influenza drug, but it no longer has a patent period. So, after that, several pharmaceutical industries in several countries around the world such as India, China, also Russia reproduced it using a different brand name and used for COVID, as well as to get emergency use authorization (EUA) in some countries” she said, Monday (29/3).
The UGM Faculty of Pharmacy Professor revealed this drug use only for Covid-19 patients with moderate to severe symptoms. The use of this product should also be under its therapy guideline and doctor's prescription.
Zullies added that this drug could not be found easily in the market because it had limited stock. Those were only exclusively available at particular Covid-19 referral hospitals.
"Public is not recommended to buy this product because it is not for sale. This drug is only assigned to Covid-19 patients with moderate and severe symptoms. If one gets infected with Covid-19, please immediately go to the doctor, get their advice in undergoing treatment," she explained.