Ministry of food and drug safety

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[Press Release, Jun 3, 2020] Special import approved for COVID-19 treatment remdesivir
  • Registration Date 2020-08-06
  • Hit 391
[Press Release, Jun 3, 2020 / unofficial translation]


Special import approved for COVID-19 treatment remdesivir
- Ministry takes into account the need to secure selectable treatments, usage status in foreign countries, etc. -


□ The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (Minister Lee Eui-kyung) has decided to approve a special import of remdesivir, which is being developed as a treatment for COVID-19. Accordingly, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Director Jung Eun-kyeong) will discuss measures for fast imports with related agencies including the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety and the importer Gilead Science Korea.

○ The special import system for medicines allows Minister of Food and Drug Safety to import unauthorized medicines through the importer at the request of the heads of related ministries to cope with the public health crisis, such as the pandemic of infectious diseases.


□ The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety to approve special import as the “Central Clinical Committee for New Infectious Diseases” proposed the import of ‘remdesivir’ as a COVID-19 treatment.

○ Accordingly, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety decided on special import after deliberation by the National Council for Stabilized Supply of Essential Drugs (Disease Management Subcommittee), and the reasons for the decision are as follows.

○ First, it was determined that shortening the treatment period of severe patients by using remdesivir is clinically meaningful and that securing of additional selectable treatments is necessary.

○ Second, it was considered that remdesivir is currently used for the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom.


□ The government, working with domestic importer, Gilead Sciences Korea, will do its best to ensure the drug be imported as soon as possible.
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