Business

Fujifilm plans to make flu drug Avigan available for 2 million people by March 2021

Kyodo

Fujifilm Holdings Corp. said Friday it is on course to supply the flu drug Avigan for 2 million COVID-19 patients by next March, meeting a target set by the government to ramp up production of the potential but yet unapproved coronavirus treatment.

"We plan to complete delivery of the drug for 2 million people within fiscal 2020 to the government," said Fujifilm Senior Vice President Junji Okada in an online news conference on its earnings for the year ended March.

"The drug has received much interest from foreign countries," Okada said of Avigan, also known as favipiravir. The drug was developed by its unit Fujifilm Toyama Chemical Co.

The government has earmarked about ¥13.9 billion ($129 million) in an extra budget for fiscal 2020 to triple the national stockpile of Avigan, enough to treat 2 million people.

Due to the government's request, Fujifilm has been boosting production of the drug since April.

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