Wed, October 27, 2021

in-focus

Medical services chief denies special Covid drug will cost THB24,000 per course


Molnupiravir, the special Covid-19 pills being procured from US drug manufacturer Merck & Co, will not cost 24,000 baht per course as some reports suggest, Medical Services Department director-general Dr Somsak Ankasil said on Wednesday.

“This amount was based on the pricing in high-income countries. The pills sold in Thailand will be cheaper,” he said.

“However, we cannot reveal the price at the moment due to contract restrictions.”

The Public Health Ministry is negotiating the purchase of

200,000 courses of the experimental antiviral drug and the first batch is expected to arrive in Thailand by late November or early December.

Patients with mild symptoms will be given a course of 40 Molnupiravir pills to take over five days.

Molnupiravir is among several anti-coronavirus drugs currently undergoing Phase 2 and 3 trials overseas. Results of the Phase 3 trial for Molnupiravir – the first antiviral drug specifically developed to fight Covid-19 – are expected by the end of October.

Merck & Co reportedly aims to manufacture enough Molnupiravir courses for 10 million patients within this year and is planning to outsource the production to drugmakers in India to come up with cheaper versions for mid- to low-income countries.

“This pill is suitable for patients with mild to medium symptoms who have other underlying health problems. Pregnant women, however, are not advised to take it,” Somsak said. “The Public Health Ministry will determine whether Molnupiravir will replace Favipiravir that is currently being used or if both will be used together.”

Published : October 07, 2021

By : THE NATION