Mexico will not follow FDA in approving Gilead’s COVID-19 drug

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico will not necessarily follow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in approving Gilead Science Inc’s antiviral drug remdesivir for use in COVID-19 patients, a top Mexican health official said on Friday.

Mexico’s health regulator Cofepris has already twice denied approval for the drug with a “non-favorable” opinion, deputy health minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell told his regular nightly news conference.

“We have no mandate from the FDA,” he said. “Cofepris has identified that the evidence does not suggest a usefulness, a sufficient efficacy.”

The FDA approved remdesivir on Thursday, making it the first and only drug approved for the disease in the United States.

Remdesivir, given intravenously, was one of the drugs used to treat U.S. President Donald Trump during his bout with COVID-19.

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Solidarity drug trial last week concluded remdesivir has little or no impact on a patient’s chances of surviving COVID-19, and a top WHO scientist on Friday recommended the FDA consider all available evidence.

Lopez-Gatell said Gilead had sent a letter to doctors in Mexico refuting the results of the Solidarity trial, and that officials were looking to see if the letter could be cause for sanction, given that remdesivir is not registered with Mexican health authorities.

“It confuses the population and generates a false expectation of the possibility of having a treatment option,” he said.

Gilead did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Sharay Angulo and Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Tom Hogue)

Source Article

Read more

Prince William ‘delighted’ to follow in his mother’s footsteps

Watch: Prince William lays foundation stone at Royal Marsden Hospital

Prince William said he was “delighted” to follow in his mother’s footsteps as he laid a foundation stone at the country’s largest cancer hospital.

The Duke of Cambridge visited the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton to launch a fundraiser for the Oak Cancer Centre, a research and treatment facility, to help them raise the last £8m needed for the centre.

His visit came 30 years after his mother, Diana, laid the foundation stone at the Royal Marsden in Chelsea.

The Royal Marsden Trust, which operates in two London locations, with the Institute of Cancer Research, is Europe’s largest comprehensive cancer centre and sees tens of thousands of patients every year.

During his trip, William also praised the staff for facing challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attends the ground-breaking ceremony for the Oak Cancer Centre at The Royal Marsden hospital in central London on October 21, 2020. (Photo by Jack Hill / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JACK HILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
William’s visit came 30 years after his mother visited the hospital’s Chelsea site. (Jack Hill/AFP)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attends the ground-breaking ceremony for the Oak Cancer Centre at The Royal Marsden hospital in central London on October 21, 2020. (Photo by Jack Hill / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JACK HILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
William did the pointing on the stone which will form part of the new centre. (Jack Hill/AFP)
SUTTON, GREATER LONDON - OCTOBER 21: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge speaks to staff and patients to mark the construction of the groundbreaking Oak cancer centre at Royal Marsden Hospital on October 21, 2020 in Sutton, Greater London. (Photo by Jack Hill - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The duke spoke to staff and patients during his visit. (Jack Hill – WPA Pool)

Read more: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge film for ‘really moving’ Pride of Britain awards

He said: “Every time I visit the Marsden, I am struck not just by the significant advances that are being made in research and treatment, but also by the hope and belief embodied by each patient and member of staff, even in the darkest of times.

“I am personally delighted to be with you today to lay the foundation stone of the Oak Centre, thirty years after my mother did the very same thing at The Royal Marsden in Chelsea, commemorating the building of the Chelsea Wing.”

The duke added: “Earlier this morning I was privileged to meet patients who all spoke about the exceptional care they received, and how they felt safe in very difficult and often frightening times.”

“Despite the challenging times we are living in, it is so important we take the time to acknowledge the tremendous work that continues all around us. And that irrespective of the global pandemic, there remains hope for the many thousands of people dealing with the effects of cancer,” he said.

SUTTON, GREATER LONDON - OCTOBER 21: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge speaks to staff and patients to mark the construction of the groundbreaking Oak cancer centre at Royal Marsden Hospital on October 21, 2020 in Sutton, Greater London. (Photo by Jack Hill - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
William gave a speech at the hospital, referencing his mother’s visit three decades ago. (Jack Hill – WPA Pool)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge meets patients and staff during a visit to attend the ground-breaking ceremony for the Oak Cancer Centre at The Royal Marsden hospital in central London on October 21, 2020. (Photo by Jack Hill / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JACK HILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
William spoke about the challenges of cancer treatment during COVID-19. (Jack Hill/AFP)

Read more: Duchess of Cambridge meets photographers behind moving lockdown pictures

Following the visit, the Kensington Royal Twitter account shared a picture of William on Wednesday and of Diana, in 1990 when she visited the Chelsea site.

It’s rare for Prince William to make

Read more