THAILAND TO PURCHASE 50,000 COURSES OF MOLNUPIRAVIR COVID-19 PILL

THAILAND TO PURCHASE 50,000 COURSES OF MOLNUPIRAVIR COVID-19 PILL

Photo credit: www.merck.com

BANGKOK, Nov 11 — Thailand’s cabinet today approved a plan to procure 50,000 courses or 2 million of COVID-19 antiviral pills Molnupiravir, to contain the pandemic in the kingdom.

Deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul said Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha who chaired the cabinet meeting today agreed to allocate 500 million baht to purchase Molnupiravir, the first pill designed to treat symptomatic COVID-19.

Yesterday, adviser to the Department of Medical Services Dr Atthasit Srisubat said the Public Health Ministry plans to procure two types of COVID-19 antiviral pills – Molnupiravir and Paxlovid – for use in the kingdom along with other treatment and vaccines available to curtail the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said the antiviral pills Molnupiravir would be used as a reserve drug security.

He said it would be used to treat COVID-19 patients as well as priority and high-risk groups including those over 60 years old and those with underlying health conditions including chronic respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic kidney disease.

“A course of favipiravir costs 1,000 baht or more, if imported, while a course of molnupiravir costs about 10,000 baht. Doctors will decide how to use them.

“In making a purchase we must think about quality. We are not stingy, but every baht spent must be worth it,” he was quoted saying by Bangkok Post.

Yesterday, Dr Atthasit said the COVID-19 pill molnupiravir developed by the US drug companies Merck, Sharp and Dohme (MSD) and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics is expected to be delivered in late December or January next year.

He added that the ministry will continue talks with Pfizer Inc for its experimental antiviral COVID-19 pill Paxlovid on Friday.

Molnupiravir is the first antiviral medication for COVID-19 approved by the UK medicine regulators.

— BERNAMA

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