Thailand to import 200,000 courses of Molnupiravir anti-viral drug from USA
The Ministry of Public Health is to seek approval from the Thai cabinet for the procurement of 200,000 courses of the Molnupiravir oral anti-viral medicine, using money from the Central Fund, said Deputy Government Spokesperson Rachada Dhnadirek.
Jointly developed by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics of the United States, Molnupiravir has proven to be effective in significantly reducing the risk of hospitalisation or death from COVID-19 infection during Third Phase human trials. The companies are seeking approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use.
Citing information from the Rural Doctor Society, Dr. Rachada said the orally-administered drug was developed from medicine used to treat flu, after studies showed that it is efficacious in inhibiting several types of coronavirus, including COVID-19, adding that the medicine is Third Phase human trials in the United States.
She expects the drug will be imported into Thailand starting in December, if it passes the US and Thai FDAs.
Dr. Ratchada noted, however, that the best way to curb the spread of COVID-19 is vaccination and self-protection by observing the “new normal” lifestyle.