Before we could tell you about antiviraldrugs with unproven effectiveness, as the media began to spread information that China officially recognized Arbidol as a medicine for coronavirus. This was reported by The Bell, citing a source. Earlier it became known that the Chinese government intends to test a number of drugs for the treatment of CoVID-2019. According to the Xinhua News Agency, on February 18, the PRC Ministry of Health included “Arbidol” in the sixth version of the preliminary treatment plan for the coronavirus CoVID-2019. The previous version was valid from February 5. It reported that the effectiveness of antiviral drugs against coronavirus has not been confirmed by clinical studies.
Desperate search for medicine from CoVID-2019
Despite criticism of the drug, in RussiaArbidol, which was developed in the USSR in the 1970s, is still in high demand and is even included in the list of vital essential drugs (Vital and Essential Drugs). According to Vedomosti, the revenue from sales of the drug for 2019 amounted to 2.5 billion rubles. Earlier, manufacturers of Arbidol and Ingavirin launched an advertising campaign stating that these drugs are effective against coronavirus. At the same time, WHO experts along with world experts report that today CoVID-2019 is poorly understood and there is no cure for it. Moreover, recently, Chinese authorities have banned residents of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak of an infectious disease, from leaving their homes. At the time of this writing, the official number of people infected with the new coronavirus is at least 76 thousand people. More than two thousand infected died.
In 2007, a patent for the manufacture of "Arbidol"ended, and its production as a generic today involved in six large pharmaceutical companies in China. For the first time, “Arbidol” can be used as a medicine against coronavirus, virologists from Zhejiang University said. Later, they were supported by an expert from the Ministry of Health of the PRC. According to Chinese virologists, preliminary tests of "Arbidol" showed that the drug is able to inhibit the replication of coronavirus, slowing it down by 60 times compared with the control group. However, no studies proving the effectiveness of the drug have been published.
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Abidol or Arbidol?
After the statement of the Minister of Health of the PRC onsuccessful trials of Arbidol and the increased interest in this drug in China, the world and Russian media disagreed about what kind of drug in question - “Abidol” or “Arbidol”.
The fact is that the CGTN channel followed by Reuters intheir reports called the drug "Abidol". However, in publications of other publications, it is directly about the drug "Arbidol", which is produced in China and Russia. In the end, the information that the virologists consider Arbidol as the cure for the coronavirus was confirmed by official Chinese media, including China Daily.
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Thus, the PRC authorities can usea drug with unproven effectiveness as a medicine against CoVID-2019 coronavirus. But why? It is possible that the Chinese Ministry of Health decided to take such a step in order to at least slightly reassure the citizens of the Middle Kingdom. An unprecedented quarantine, a ban on residents of some regions from leaving their homes, as well as visiting public places can aggravate an already difficult situation. In this case, the use of "Arbidol" as a mass placebo may seem to the authorities a good solution. Of course, it is impossible to completely exclude the possibility that this drug is really effective against coronavirus. But such high-profile statements require undeniable evidence.