To speed development of COVID-19 treatments, Japan may utilize “compassionate use” regulatory exemption

A 2016 law that allows the administration of unapproved drugs in Japan when they may aid patients suffering from an otherwise fatal disease may be utilized to test COVID-19 treatments in the country. Known as the “compassionate use” system, the law permits drugs undergoing clinical trials to be administered to patients with severe and potentially fatal diseases who do not satisfy conditions for participation in the trial. The drug remdesivir, developed to treat the Ebola virus, along with the drug favipiravir, are among those that may be administered to COVID-19 patients under the protocols.