Development of medications, vaccines, medical equipment, and test kits

1. Information on currently available medications and vaccines

A proven vaccine for COVID-19 has not yet been developed. Symptomatic treatments are the standard remedy at present.

Note that Remdesivir (Brand name: Veklury for intravenous injection 100 mg, etc.) was granted Special Approval for Emergency* on May 7, 2020 (report on Special Approval, package insert).
* The Special Approval for Emergency system is used to approve medical products more quickly than the regular approval process can, by allowing the post-approval submission of documents for approval (excluding clinical studies results). These medical products must meet the following requirements: 1. they are needed in an emergency to prevent the spread of diseases; 2. no appropriate alternative means other than the use of the relevant medical product is available; and 3. they have been approved for sale overseas.

2. Prospects for the development of medications

The MHLW is utilizing various research funds, such as research funds from the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) and funds from the MHLW grants system, to develop medications for COVID-19. It is also continuing to expand studies on these medications.

3. Prospects for the development of vaccines

In addition to the study of vaccines in Japan, efforts are being made to secure the early development of a vaccine by promoting global cooperation through contributions to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI).

In addition, several investigational agents for other treatments can be found among the existing medications, and observational studies, clinical studies, and trials are being promoted.

4. Prospects for the development of medical products, medical equipment, and test kits

The MHLW is prioritizing and fast-tracking approval reviews of drugs, medical equipment (e.g., mechanical ventilators), and test kits for COVID-19.

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare