Molnupiravir gets thumbs up

Molnupiravir gets thumbs up

People queue up to buy the 40-baht antigen test kit offered by the Government Pharmaceutical Organization. A pack of five ATKs costs 200 baht, or 800 baht for 20 kits. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
People queue up to buy the 40-baht antigen test kit offered by the Government Pharmaceutical Organization. A pack of five ATKs costs 200 baht, or 800 baht for 20 kits. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

Yong Poovorawan, chief of the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology at Chulalongkorn University, has said that Molnupiravir can help reduce the risk of hospitalisation or death among people suffering from Covid-19.

Dr Yong said the medicine, developed by Merck, is highly effective if patients take it within five days of first experiencing symptoms.

The doctor mentioned the results of research titled "Molnupiravir, an Oral Antiviral Treatment for Covid-19" published via medRxiv website which shows that the medicine was effective. "Molnupiravir is the first oral, direct-acting antiviral shown to be highly effective at reducing nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 infectious virus and viral RNA and has a favourable safety and tolerability profile," the research said.

The medicine is seeking approval from the US Food and Drug Administration while five Indian pharmaceutical companies have been allowed to produce it which will make its price cheaper, according to Dr Yong who posted the information on his Facebook account on Monday.

Meanwhile, Nimit Tienudom, an activist who promotes equal medicine access, has lodged a complaint to the Public Health Ministry, Department of Medical Services and Food and Drug Administration, on Oct 12, about the high price of Merck's Molnupiravir, which is reportedly set currently at 23,000 baht per course.

Civil groups have likewise complained that the Public Health Ministry only negotiated with Merck. They demanded the government negotiate the price with Merck for the first order of the Molnupiravir for 200,000 patients. Then the government should shift the order to purchase the medicine from the companies from India afterwards.

Thailand logged 10,111 new Covid-19 cases and 63 new fatalities during the previous 24 hours, the Public Health Ministry announced on Monday morning.

There were 10,070 cases in the general population, 41 among prison inmates and 24 among new arrivals.

On Sunday, 10,612 Covid-19 patients were discharged from hospitals after recovering from the coronavirus.

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