Breakthrough COVID-19 pill molnupiravir is now in the country as it is also the first in Southeast Asia to receive its supply.
The pill developed by Merck was first granted authorization in the United Kingdom as the first antiviral medicine authorized for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults testing positive of SARS-CoV2 and who have at least one risk factor for developing severe illness.
It is exported through compassionate use permits granted to 31 hospitals.
MANILA, Philippines — Molnupiravir, if authorized for emergency use, would be the first oral antiviral medication of COVID-19, even as it claims to reduce the chances of dying or hospitalization by half for people who are most vulnerable in contracting severe COVID-19.
Food and Drug chief Eric Domingo said the agency had received application for emergency use authorization of the antiviral drug on Thursday, 17 November.
Each pill is priced within a range of ₱100 to ₱150 according to pharmaceutical distribution company JackPharma.
Merck has licensed Aurobindo Pharma, and Indian pharma manufacturer that supplies the drug to low and middle income countries.
Merck is the same developer of the ivermectin drug. (RA/The MiNT)