Efficacy of Areplivir (favipiravir) in the treatment of COVID-19 discussed at the 16th Russian Congress of Internal Medicine

Promomed 19 November 2021

On the first day of the 16th Russian Congress of Internal Medicine, Promomed Group organized a satellite symposium «Always on the same side against COVID-19». The symposium was attended by leading experts in COVID-19 Dmitry Pushkar, doct. med. sci., academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, professor, Elena Malinnikova, doct. med. sci., head of the Department of Virology, Russian Medical Academy of Continuing Professional Education of the Russian Ministry of Health, Andrey Malyavin, doct. med. sci., chief non-staff pulmonologist of the Central Federal District of the Russian Federation, professor of the Department of Phthisiology and Pulmonology, Faculty of Medicine of the Evdokimov Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry, Sergey Avdeev, professor, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, head of the Department of Pulmonology, Faculty of General Medicine of the Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University of the Russian Ministry of Health, chief non-staff pulmonologist of the Russian Ministry of Health.

RAS Academician Dmitry Pushkar, an authoritative expert in the treatment of COVID-19 who led the clinical trials of Areplivir® (favipiravir) and was awarded the Pirogov Order, presented the report «Drug prevention of COVID-19. Exchange of experience.» In his presentation, he especially emphasized the importance of studying new drugs for the treatment of COVID-19, based on reliable and objective clinical studies: «We used the study protocol we developed to assess the efficacy of Areplivir. The results conformed the feasibility of introducing this drug into widespread medical practice as an etiotropic therapy. Currently the search for drugs for the treatment of COVID-19 continues. Promomed Group has developed and is introducing an injectable dosage form of the already well-known medicinal product Areplivir. Today it is the only favipiravir-based drug for the etiotropic therapy of the novel coronavirus infection.»

After analyzing the studies of Russian and foreign experts on the influence of favipiravir on the course of SARS-CoV-2 infection and based on his own experience, Sergei Avdeev, chief non-staff pulmonologist of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, head of the Department of Pulmonology at Sechenov University, noted that the oral form has successfully proven itself in the treatment of coronavirus infection. According to experts in the field of treatment of COVID-19, the injectable form of Areplivir (favipiravir) significantly expands the therapeutic possibilities and adds a new etiotropic agent to the range of choice of a practitioner.

Based on the results of pharmacoeconomic studies of the feasibility of Areplivir therapy, Andrey Malyavin, Professor of the Department of Phthisiology and Pulmunology of the Faculty of Medicine, Deputy Head of the Science Department of the EvdokimovMoscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry noted the high pharmacoeconomic feasibility of early treatment with Areplivir (fapiravir), which makes it possible to shorten the hospital stay and reduce the economic burden (up to 800 thousand rubles per patient).

In conclusion, Andrei Malyavin said: «Thus, it has been proven that the wide and early prescription of Areplivir (favapiravir) makes it possible to save 12 billion rubles per month in the budget due to early discharge, reducing the need for intensive care and minimizing severe complications, including distress syndrome.» The decrease in the burden on the general health care system as a result of the use of Areplivir was confirmed by the head of the Department of Virology of the Russian Medical Academy of Continuing Professional Education Elena Malinnikova; she noted that Areplivir®can be considered as a drug that accelerates the patient's recovery at any stage of COVID-19, both in the inpatient and outpatient settings. The expert did not rule out the possibility of using Areplivir at later stages of the disease.

«I believe it is necessary to develop a unified tactics for managing patients with post-COVID syndromes using Areplivir, since favipiravir is compatible with all recommended pathogenetic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial therapies. Moreover, the drug has shown an excellent efficacy and safety profile, proven in many clinical studies.

The clinical studies demonstrated that not a single patient taking Areplivir®experienced any deterioration in well-being; mechanical ventilation was not needed and there was no negative effect on vital functions: blood pressure, heart rate, ECG, level of uric acid, the most common indicators reported by physicians. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that there were no serious adverse events associated with taking the drug and there were no cases of discontinuation of treatment due to adverse events.»

For reference: clinical studies of Areplivir (favipiravir) in tablet form began in June 2020 and took place in five medical institutions in Russia under the guidance of full members of the Russian Academy of Sciences. In clinical studies, Areplivir® has proven its high efficacy and safety, preventing the transition of coronavirus infection to a severe form. This same year it was included in the guidelines of the Russian Ministry of Health as a drug for etiotropic therapy of COVID-19.

On November 12, 2021, the first Russian direct-acting injectable antiviral drug Areplivir® (favipiravir) was registered (RU LP 007 598). The deliveries to hospitals in all regions of Russia will start by the end of the year.

The 16th Russian Congress of Internal Medicine is the main annual event of the scientific medical community in Russia, where leading Russian scientists and healthcare professionals, practitioners, opinion leaders, representatives of government authorities and public organizations meet, which makes it an authoritative platform for constructive dialogue.

More than 400 Russian specialists, as well as representatives of the international medical community, exchange their experience and expertise, share opinions and achievements in various fields of medicine, which contributes to a fruitful discussion of the prospects for the development of healthcare and helps to find new ways to solve existing problems.