Japan aims to supply oral COVID drugs by year-end

NHK -- Oct 27
Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has instructed the health ministry to accelerate work to make oral COVID-19 drugs available by the end of the year.

Kishida met with health minister Goto Shigeyuki on Tuesday and directed him to lay the groundwork for the approval and procurement of oral medicines by year-end.

Goto later told reporters that the government has been supporting efforts to make such medicine available by such means as subsidizing clinical trials.

He stressed his determination to move quickly with the approval process and keep the public informed about the availability of such treatment.

In Japan, drugs designed to treat COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms have so far taken the form of IV drips such as antibody cocktail treatments that require the oversight of a doctor.

Many have expressed a desire to have access to treatment that can be taken easily without any oversight.