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 during his bout with COVID-19.

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The World Health Organization's (WHO) Solidarity 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.

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

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