In a video press conference with reporters on Sunday, Mohammad Reza Shanesaz said it is not yet clear whether Favipiravir, sold under the brand name Avigan, is really effective in the treatment of COVID-19.
Asked about the results of the clinical tests on coronavirus patients, he said the efficacy of Favipiravir has not been certified in Iran or in any other country so far.
“In our country, we have begun the process of production (of Favipiravir) in parallel with the clinical studies. Because the medication is not used for treating coronavirus alone, as it is also used for flu treatment as well,” he noted.
Favipiravir is now being synthesized in Iran and at the same time undergoing clinical trials, Shanesaz added, saying the test results are still pending.
The Food and Drug Administration chief also deplored the hasty reports that a number of physicians released on the Internet about the efficacy of Avigan, saying such speculations created unrealistic expectations. “But the Health Ministry’s scientific committee does not verify these claims.”
Earlier this month, a member of Iran’s National Committee for Coronavirus Fight said if the results of clinical trials in the treatment of hospitalized patients are positive, Iranian companies can produce Favipiravir on a large scale.