NHSO to purchase another 27m tablets of anti-viral drug favipiravir

NHSO to purchase another 27m tablets of anti-viral drug favipiravir

Covid vaccines, medicines, test kits added to national health insurance

People who registered online for free Covid-19 testing with antigen kits wait for their turn at Thupatemee Stadium in Pathum Thani on Tuesday. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)
People who registered online for free Covid-19 testing with antigen kits wait for their turn at Thupatemee Stadium in Pathum Thani on Tuesday. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)

The National Health Security Office (NHSO) will purchase an additional 27 million tablets of the anti-viral drug favipiravir this year and next year for the treatment of Covid-19 patients

The NHSO board on Monday also approved the addition of vaccines, medical supplies and laboratory test kits used for Covid-19 treatment to the national health insurance scheme.

The items were authorised by the Public Health Ministry’s Department of Medical Services and agencies authorised by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration for inclusion in the health scheme.  

The NHSO board approved the purchase of 27 million tablets of favipiravir in this year's procurement plan using 891 million baht from the Covid-19 budget this year, which was tied over to the 2022 budget.

NHSO secretary-general Jadet Thammathat-Aree said the decision to include medicines, vaccines, medical supplies and laboratory testing kits relating to Covid-19 in national health insurance will address shortages in these areas. 

“The Public Health Ministry earlier issued guidelines regarding Covid-19 treatment, but there are still problems, obstacles to accessing those services. The NHSO was contacted to find measures that could give additional help.

"The NHSO board then approved the inclusion of all these items in national health insurance,’’ Dr Jadet said.

For favipiravir, the ministry guidelines are that the drug must be administered to Covid-19 patients as soon as possible, with 50 tablets per patient, he said.

The ministry had already planned to purchase 40 million tablets of the drug in September this year. However, that may not be sufficient to meet demand, the NHSO secretary-general said. The 27 million tablets of favipiravir would be in addition to that purchase. 


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