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China's first homegrown oral anti-COVID-19 drug removed from online sale
Published on: 2022-11-21
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China's first domestically developed oral drug for COVID-19 treatment was removed from shelves of e-commerce platforms on Saturday, hours after media reported its online sale had started in some drugstores.

Experts and China's protocol for COVID-19 prevention and control suggested it is inappropriate for the medicine to be available to the public in drugstores as suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases should be isolated and treated in designated healthcare facilities.

News first came on Saturday morning that some pharmacies had started online sale of Azvudine, produced by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Genuine Biotech. On some e-commerce platforms such as Meituan and Eleme, pre-sale links for Azvudine by these pharmacies could be found, with prices ranging from 350 yuan to 499 yuan.

However, all the pre-sale pages disappeared before Saturday noon after another Chinese media outlet reported that Genuine Biotech has communicated with relevant pharmacies over the online sale of Azvudine, which will be removed from shelves immediately.

The medicine has some side effects and could be dangerous for patients to take it at home without doctor's advice. Azvudine was originally approved to use for the treatment of people infected with the HIV-1 virus.








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