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A health ministry panel on Wednesday will weigh the efficacy and safety of the first domestically developed pill to treat COVID-19, even as questions persist over the drug’s performance as well as the need to grant it emergency approval.

If the oral drug, developed by Shionogi, gets the panel’s approval, it will then be up for evaluation by another health ministry committee that will meet in a few weeks’ time. If approved by that committee, it would become the first product in Japan to be issued emergency use approval under a revised law that cleared parliament last month.

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