FDA: No COVID-19 cure pending application

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 17) — Contrary to claims circulating online, the Food and Drug Administration disclosed Friday that there are no medicines for the coronavirus infection pending registration at its office.

Undersecretary Rolando Enrique "Eric" Domingo, former spokesperson of the Department of Health and now the Director General of the FDA, said no application has reached their department to date.

"Wala pa pong napapa-receive po sa atin na gamot for COVID-19," Domingo said in a virtual health briefing.

[Translation: We have not yet received any medicine for COVID-19.]

The FDA said it discourages "off-label drug use," or the use of a pharmaceutical drug for a disease or medical condition that it is not approved to treat, for COVID-19.

"Hindi natin ine-encourage ang off-label drug use, kasi ang bawat gamot, talagang aprubado siya para sa partikular na sakit," Domingo emphasized.

[Translation: We discourage off-label drug use, as each medicine is only given a green light for a particular illness.]

He added that "off-label drugs" are currently being studied and included in clinical trials by health experts to test its effectiveness on COVID-19.

The Health Department likewise maintained that there is still no cure to the viral illness.

"Paalala sa lahat: Wala pa pong aprubadong gamot," Health Spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire pointed out in the same briefing.

[Translation: A reminder to all — There is no approved medication yet.]

The FDA earlier warned the public against the use of drugs or vaccines with unproven claims that it could treat COVID-19.

The Philippines now has 5,878 confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease, with 387 deaths and 487 recoveries.