Green light for local favipiravir production

Green light for local favipiravir production

Vuttikrai Leewiraphan, director-general of the Department of Intellectual Property.
Vuttikrai Leewiraphan, director-general of the Department of Intellectual Property.

The Department of Intellectual Property has rejected the developer of the drug favipiravir's latest patent application, paving the way for local production of the antiviral medication now widely used to treat Covid-19 patients.

DIP director-general Vuttikrai Leewiraphan said on Wednesday that the department rejected the patent application after finding it presented no new innovation.

Therefore, no one monopolised favipiravir in Thailand and the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) and other producers of Thai generic drugs could produce the drug for local use, he said.

The rejection by the department will be final if the patent applicant fails to appeal against it within 60 days, Mr Vuttikrai said.

"All sectors are playing their part in coping with the spread of Covid-19, with the common goal to provide people with quick access to necessary drugs," he said.

Japanese pharmaceutical company Fujifilm Toyama Chemical recently filed to patent a preparation of the drug with the department. The compound patent for the drug expired in 2019.

Meanwhile, GPO is developing its own favipiravir to boost the kingdom's supply amid rising demand for Covid-19 treatment and reduce dependence on imports.

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